Economic Integration and the Transmission of Democracy
Marco Tabellini (),
Giacomo Magistretti () and
Giacomo Magistretti ()
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Marco Tabellini: Harvard Business School, NBER, CEPR, and IZA
Giacomo Magistretti: International Monetary Fund
Giacomo Magistretti: IMF
No 2302, CReAM Discussion Paper Series from Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London
In this paper, we study the effects of economic integration with democracies on individualsâ€™ democratic values and on countriesâ€™ institutions. We combine survey data with country level measures of democracy from 1960 to 2015, and exploit improvements in air, relative to sea, transportation to derive a time-varying instrument for trade. We find that economic integration with democracies increases both citizensâ€™ support for democracy and countriesâ€™ democracy scores. Instead, trade with non-democracies has no impact on either attitudes or institutions. The effects of trade with democracies are stronger when partners have a longer history of democracy, grow faster, spend more on public goods, and are culturally closer. They are also driven by imports, rather than exports, and by integration with partners that export higher quality goods and that account for a larger share of a countryâ€™s trade in institutionally intensive, cultural, and consumer goods as well as in goods that involve more face-to-face interactions and entail higher levels of bilateral trust. These patterns are consistent with trade in goods favoring the transmission of democracy by signaling the (actual or perceived) desirability of the latter. We examine alternative mechanisms, and conclude that none of them can, alone, explain our findings.
Keywords: Democracy; political preferences; institutions; economic integration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 F15 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-int, nep-pol and nep-soc
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:crm:wpaper:2302
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