Department of Economics and Business Economics

Regime types and regime change: A new dataset on democracy, coups, and political institutions

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Social scientists have created a variety of datasets in recent years that quantify political regimes, but these often provide little data on phases of regime transitions. Our aim is to contribute to filling this gap, by providing an update and expansion of the Democracy-Dictatorship data by Cheibub et al. (Public Choice, 143, 67–101, 2010), originally introduced by Alvarez et al. (Studies in Comparative International Development, 31(2), 3–36, 1996), where we add the following three features: First, we expand coverage to a total of 192 sovereign countries and 16 currently self-governing territories between 1950 and 2018, including periods under colonial rule for more than ninety entities. Second, we provide more institutional details that are deemed of importance in the relevant literature. Third, we include a new, self-created indicator of successful and failed coups d’état, which is currently the most complete of its kind. We further illustrate the usefulness of the new dataset by documenting the importance of political institutions under colonial rule for democratic development after independence, making use of our much more detailed data on colonial institutions. Findings indicate that more participatory colonial institutions have a positive and lasting effect for democratic development after transition to independence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of International Organizations
Pages (from-to)531-551
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

    Research areas

  • C82, F54, Measurement; colonialism, N40, P16, P50, Political regimes, Regime transitions, Y1

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