Long live democracy: The determinants of political instability in latin America

Luisa Blanco, Robin Grier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the underlying causes of political instability in a panel of 18 Latin American countries from 1971-2000. We test whether regime type, regime durability, factionalism, income inequality, ethnic diversity, ethnic discrimination, regional spillover effects, urban growth and macroeconomic variables matter for instability. We find several important results: (1) democracy has a significant negative effect on instability that is robust to several alternative specifications; (2) factionalised political systems experience higher instability; (3) income inequality, ethnic fractionalisation, and urban growth have important nonlinear effects on instability; and (4) of the macroeconomic variables we study, only openness to trade has a significant negative effect on instability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-95
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

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