viernes, 24 de febrero de 2012

Yet Another Look at the Modernisation Hypothesis: Evidence from Latin America

By:Manoel Bittencourt (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
We investigate in this paper whether the modernisation hypothesis holds in Latin America, and our sample includes nine Latin American countries that re-democratised in the last forty years or so. The data set covers the period between 1970 and 2007, and the results, based on dynamic panel data analysis (we use the Fixed Effects, Fixed Effects with Instrumental Variables, DIF-GMM and SYS-GMM estimators), suggest that the modernisation hypothesis holds in the region, or that income, or development in general, play a positive role on democracy. We also test for the critical junctures hypothesis, or whether particular historical structural changes play any role in contemporaneous democratisation in the region, however we are not able to provide any concrete evidence in favour of it. Essentially, we suggest that a certain level of development is an important condition for democracy to mature and survive, which-- in times of a new democratisation wave taking place in societies with different levels of development-- is a suggestive observation.
Keywords:Modernisation hypothesis, democracy, development, Latin America

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