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Is Democracy a Normal Good? Evidence from Democratic Movements

Jenny A. Minier
Southern Economic Journal
Vol. 67, No. 4 (Apr., 2001), pp. 996-1009
DOI: 10.2307/1061583
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1061583
Page Count: 14
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Is Democracy a Normal Good? Evidence from Democratic Movements
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Abstract

A frequent assertion of economists and political scientists is that democracy is a normal good, or that higher incomes lead citizens to "desire" more democracy. This assertion, however, has been difficult to test directly. I introduce a data set of democratic movements, and use it to address the relationship between income and the demand for democracy. Logit analysis of the estimated probability that a democratic movement occurs in an authoritarian country suggests that this probability is increasing in income per capita up to a level of approximately $5000. Unlike previous results, this does not suggest that all countries will become democratic once they pass some income threshold.

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