DP6691 Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity
|Author(s):||Markus Brückner, Antonio Ciccone|
|Publication Date:||February 2008|
|Keyword(s):||democratization, transitory economic shocks|
|Programme Areas:||International Macroeconomics|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6691|
According to the economic approach to political transitions, negative transitory economic shocks can give rise to a window of opportunity for democratic change. We examine this hypothesis using yearly rainfall variation over the 1980-2004 period in 41 Sub-Saharan African countries. We find that a 25% drop in rainfall increases the probability of a transition to democracy during the following two years by around 3 percentage points. A 5% fall in income due to low rainfall raises the probability of democratization by around 7 percentage points. We also find that rainfall does not affect transitions from democracy to autocracy.