(Successful) Democracies Breed Their Own Support
79 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2021
Date Written: August 31, 2021
Using large-scale survey data covering more than 110 countries and exploiting within country variation across cohorts and surveys, we show that individuals with longer exposure to democracy display stronger support for democratic institutions. We bolster these baseline findings using an instrumental-variables strategy exploiting regional democratization waves and focusing on immigrants' exposure to democracy before migration. In all cases, the timing and nature of the effects are consistent with a causal interpretation. We also establish that democracies breed their own support only when they are successful: all of the effects we estimate work through exposure to democracies that are successful in providing economic growth, peace and political stability, and public goods.
Keywords: democracy, economic growth, institutions, support for democracy, values
JEL Classification: P16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation