Event Title

Democracy and the Effects of Drought

Presenter Information

Samsun Knight, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A155

Start Date

4-25-2014 2:45 PM

End Date

4-25-2014 3:45 PM

Abstract

Are citizens of democracies cushioned from the vagaries of the business cycle? Using a dataset from 24 African countries, I find that democracy is correlated with significantly increased sensitivity to exogenous aggregate income shocks (e.g, drought) for infant mortality rate and significantly reduced sensitivity to exogenous aggregate income shocks for school enrollment. The most consistently salient aspect of democracy appears to be competitiveness of executive recruitment. The infant mortality findings are consistent with a political economy model, wherein more autocratic governments respond more robustly to drought, but have a more limited sphere of issues that they address.

Notes

Session II, Panel 7 - Careful What You Wish For: Cautionary Case Studies in (Radical) Democracy
Moderator: Chris Howell, Professor of Politics

Major

Economics

Advisor(s)

Ed McKelvey, Economics

Project Mentor(s)

Barbara Craig, Economics
Tobias Pfutze, Economics

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Apr 25th, 2:45 PM Apr 25th, 3:45 PM

Democracy and the Effects of Drought

Science Center, A155

Are citizens of democracies cushioned from the vagaries of the business cycle? Using a dataset from 24 African countries, I find that democracy is correlated with significantly increased sensitivity to exogenous aggregate income shocks (e.g, drought) for infant mortality rate and significantly reduced sensitivity to exogenous aggregate income shocks for school enrollment. The most consistently salient aspect of democracy appears to be competitiveness of executive recruitment. The infant mortality findings are consistent with a political economy model, wherein more autocratic governments respond more robustly to drought, but have a more limited sphere of issues that they address.