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The agricultural and the democratic transitions: causality and the roundup model

Erich Gundlach () and Martin Paldam

No 1521, Kiel Working Papers from Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)

Abstract: Long-run development (in income) causes a large fall in the share of agriculture commonly known as the agricultural transition. We confirm that this conventional wisdom is strongly supported by the data. Long-run development (in income) also causes a large increase in democracy known as the democratic transition. Elsewhere we have shown that it is almost as strong as the agricultural transition. Recently, a method has been presented to weed out spuriousness. It makes the democratic transition go away by turning income insignificant, when it is supplemented by a set of formal controls. We show that the same method makes the agricultural transition go away as well. Hence, it seems to be a method that kills far too much, as suggested by the subtitle. This suggestion leads to a discussion of the very meaning of long-run causality.

Keywords: Long-run growth; transitions; causality and spuriousness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 P5 Q1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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Working Paper: The agricultural and the democratic transitions - Causality and the Roundup model (2009) Downloads
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