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Irrigation and Autocracy

Jeanet Bentzen (), Nicolai Kaarsen and Asger Wingender ()
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Nicolai Kaarsen: Department of Economics

No 12-06, Discussion Papers from University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics

Abstract: We show that societies with a history of irrigation-based agriculture have been less likely to adopt democracy than societies with a history of rainfed agriculture. Rather than actual irrigation, the empirical analysis is based on how much irrigation potentially can increase yields. Irrigation potential is derived from a range of exogenous geographic factors, and reverse causality is therefore ruled out. Our results hold both at the cross-country level, and at the subnational level in premodern societies surveyed by ethnographers.

Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2012-07-11
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Journal Article: Irrigation and Autocracy (2017) Downloads
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