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Jumps into democracy: The transition in the Polity Index

Martin Pakdan () and Erich Gundlach ()
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Martin Pakdan: Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark, Postal: 8210 Aarhus V, Denmark

Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University

Abstract: The Democratic Transition is the process of regime change from authoritarian at the traditional level of development to democratic at the modern level. This process is analyzed on 7,565 pairs of income and political regime data. Regimes are normally in local status quo equilibrium, so they have stepwise stability. The 158 countries are divided in two groups: A small OPEC group, where the transition is skew, and a Main group, where the data show the well-defined long-run path of the Democratic Transition. The distance to the transition path is termed the tension of the regime. The short-run changes are due to triggering events that cause regime jumps. Triggering events are almost random, while most jumps are in the direction of the tension. This mechanism integrates the short and the long run to give the transition.

Keywords: Transition path; triggering events; regime jumps (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O11 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pol
Date: 2016-07-04
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