The Arab world is undergoing a major political transition. The final outcomes of the changes are far from certain in nations where they have occurred. The geographical spread of the changes is also far from clear at this point. Nevertheless, there have been and will continue to be economic consequences from the moves towards democracy (see Besley and Kudamatsu 2007).
Growth and political change: Transition duration is critical
Caroline Freund, Melise Jaud, 24 January 2013
What explains political institutions? Evidence from colonial British America
Elena Nikolova, 17 August 2012
Under what circumstances do democratic as opposed to authoritarian institutions emerge? Although a large literature has tackled this question (see Acemoglu et al. 2001, Acemoglu and Robinson 2012, Engerman and Sokoloff 2000), we still have an imperfect knowledge of how representative institutions originate and change.
What determines democracy? And what helps to maintain it?
Martin Gassebner, Michael J Lamla, James Raymond Vreeland, 11 August 2012
Democracy is on the move in the Arab world. Whether democratic regimes will emerge and survive remains an open question, and the intense media coverage of the Arab Spring has revived public interest in the determinants of democracy. The quest to understand why democracy emerges and survives, however, has long been on the agenda of economists and political scientists.
Failure and success of economic sanctions
Peter A.G. van Bergeijk, 27 March 2012
The discussion about the effectiveness of economic sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy recently revived due to the recent oil embargo of Iran and the European embargo on equipment for the Syrian oil and gas industry. The consensus view seems to be that economic sanctions – despite the long history of and experience with this instrument – are still completely ineffective.
Direct democracy as a safeguard to limit public spending
Patricia Funk, Christina Gathmann, 10 February 2012
The current debt crisis in Europe and North America raises the question of how to impose spending discipline on governments and politicians. A country with historically low government spending is Switzerland, which many argue is related to the high use of direct democracy.
Looking beyond the incumbent: The effects of exposing corruption on electoral outcomes
Ana De La O, Alberto Chong, Dean Karlan, Léonard Wantchékon, 23 January 2012
Vox readers can download CEPR Discussion Paper 8790 for free here.
Oil and democracy: New insights
Francesco Caselli, Andrea Tesei, 22 December 2011
Looking at the historical experiences of many countries it seems uncontroversial that an abundance of natural resources can shape political outcomes.
The democratic transition
Fabrice Murtin, Romain Wacziarg, 5 October 2011
Throughout history the march toward political freedom has not been a smooth process. It has happened in fits and starts, in waves, and was often reversed or interrupted. The collapse of several Middle Eastern authoritarian regimes in the wake of this year’s Arab Spring illustrates the point clearly.
Political institutions and the curse of natural resources
Antonio Cabrales, Esther Hauk, 17 June 2011
There is nothing new about the “natural-resource curse”. It is first mentioned in 1993 in a book by Richard Auty titled Sustaining Development in Mineral Economies: The Resource Curse Thesis. The term was then popularised among economists following the influential paper by Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner in 1995.
Democracy, quality of government, and the average voter
Piergiuseppe Fortunato, Ugo Panizza, 4 June 2011
The standard efficiency argument in favour of democracy is based on the idea that free elections are an effective instrument for ousting inept and corrupt politicians (e.g. Sen 2000). This view, however, is based on the assumptions that voters are capable of monitoring and evaluating government actions.
- Fiscal consolidation: At what speed?Blanchard, Leigh
- Public debt and economic growth, one more timePanizza, Presbitero
- Escaping liquidity traps: Lessons from the UK’s 1930s escapeCrafts
- The lessons of the North Atlantic crisis for economic theory and policyStiglitz
- Rethinking macroeconomic policyBlanchard
- A tale of two depressions: What do the new data tell us? February 2010 updateEichengreen, O’Rourke
- Educated in America: College graduates and high school dropoutsHeckman, LaFontaine
- Eurozone breakup would trigger the mother of all financial crisesEichengreen
- Debt, deleveraging, and the liquidity trap: A new modelKrugman
- Panic-driven austerity in the Eurozone and its implicationsDe Grauwe, Ji