The Impact of Political Competition on Economic Growth: Evidence from Municipalities in South Africa

This paper examines the impact of political competition on economic growth. Using results from the 1994 and 1999 elections I show that municipalities with a decisive vote either for or against the dominant national party have grown faster than municipalities with more voter competition amongst various political parties.

Democratisation in Africa: The Role of Self-Enforcing Constitutional Rules

Following several decades during which violent civil conflict was common in African countries, the period from 1990 onwards was notably marked by a spreading and deepening of adherence to democratic principles. However, it is true to say that many African countries are still experiencing political instability and civil unrest. This raises the question of why these countries cannot attain sustainable conflict resolution.

Is Democracy Eluding Sub-Saharan Africa?

This paper analyses the modernisation hypothesis in the sub-Saharan African region. Using a sample of 48 countries from 1960 to 2010 and dynamic panel data analysis, we find a significant and negative relationship between income and democracy, an indication that the hypothesis may not hold in the region. We also investigate further by distinguishing between exogenous and endogenous democracy. The former explains whether external factors, such as the end of the Cold War, as well as regional influence, play a role in the process of democratisation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Determinants of Government and External Debt: Evidence from the Young Democracies of South America

We investigate in this paper what are the main determinants of government and external debt in South America. Our sample purposely includes all nine South American countries that re-democratised in the last thirty years or so, and the data cover the period 1970-2007. The results, based on principal component and dynamic panel (time-series) data analyses (we use the Pooled OLS, Fixed Effects, Fixed Effects with Instrumental Variables, DIF-GMM and SYS-GMM estimators), suggest that economic growth has had the ability of significantly reduce debt in the region.

Don’t Make War, Make Elections. Franchise Extension and Violence in XIXth-Century Colombia

This paper studies the effect of strengthening democracy, as captured by an increase in voting rights, on the incidence of violent civil conflict in nineteenth-century Colombia. Empirically studying the relationship between democracy and conflict is challenging, not only because of conceptual problems in de ning and measuring democracy, but also because political institutions and violence are jointly determined.

Young Democracies and Government Size: Evidence from South America

We investigate in this paper the hypothesis that when democracies are young, or still fragile and unconsolidated, the size of government tends to increase, predictably in an attempt of redistribution, or to buy out the electorate, so that democracy becomes acceptable and "the only game in town". For that we use a sample of all nine South American young democracies during the period between 1970 and 2007. The results, based on dynamic panel data analysis, suggest that the young democracies of South America have been indeed associated with bigger governments.

Democracy, Populism and Hyperinflation(s): Some Evidence from Latin America

We test for the populist view of inflation in Latin America between 1970 and 2007. The empirical results - based on the relatively novel panel time-series data and analysis - confirm the theoretical prediction that recently elected governments coming into power after periods of political dictatorship, and which are faced with high economic inequality, end up generating high inflation and macroeconomic instability.

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