Development, Democracy, and Mass Killings

49 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2007

See all articles by William Easterly

William Easterly

New York University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2006

Abstract

Using a newly assembled dataset spanning from 1820 to 1998, we study the relationship between the occurrence and cruelty of episodes of mass killing and the levels of development and democracy across countries and over time. We find that massacres are more likely at intermediate levels of income and less likely at very high levels of democracy, but we do not find evidence of a linear relationship between democracy and probability of mass killings. In the 20th century, discrete improvements in democracy are systematically associated with less cruel massacre episodes. Episodes at the highest levels of democracy and income involve relatively fewer victims.

Keywords: Economic development, mass killings, genocide, democracy

JEL Classification: O15

Suggested Citation

Easterly, William, Development, Democracy, and Mass Killings (August 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=983121 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.983121

William Easterly (Contact Author)

New York University - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

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