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Arab Countries Between Winter and Spring: Where Democracy Shock Goes Next!

Hany Abdel-Latif (), Tapas Mishra () and Anita Staneva ()

No 954, Working Papers from Economic Research Forum

Abstract: This paper presents rigorous mechanisms to study how persistent democratic shocks in one country produce spillover effects and comprise a major determinant in dynamic growth interdependence among nations. Taking the case of the Arab Spring in particular and employing both spatial and panel VAR mechanisms, we demonstrate that stronger relational ‘proximity’ among nations with respect to democracy is likely to trigger similar institutional reforms and growth upsurges in the neighborhood. Democratization event chronology is employed to identify transitional dynamics among countries’ democratic pathways. A comprehensive model of transmission mechanism and response of democratic is further initiated by estimating a Global Vector Autoregression method among nineteen Arab countries. Our analysis reveals patterns of discrete changes in regimes that run counter to the dominant aggregate trends of democratic waves or sequences, presenting how the ebb and flow of democracy varies among the world’s regions. The main finding suggests that the current revolutionary waves in the Arab World can be understood in light of the economic situation in a given country. More specifically, we find that high and upper middle income countries are immune to the recent democratic shock transference, whereas the lower middle and low income countries seem to be perfect candidates of another revolutionary wave.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara and nep-cdm
Date: 2015-10, Revised 2015-10
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