Economic development and democracy: An electoral connection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


title = "Economic development and democracy: An electoral connection",
abstract = "Scholars continue to debate whether economic development affects regime type. This article argues that a clear relationship exists between development and the electoral component of democracy, but not – or at least less so – between development and other components of broader understandings of democracy. This is so because development enhances the power resources of citizens and elections provide a focal point for collective action. The theory is tested with two new datasets – Varieties of Democracy and Lexical Index of Electoral Democracy – that allow us to disaggregate the concept of democracy into meso- and micro-level indicators. Results of these tests corroborate the theory: only election-centred indicators are robustly associated with economic development. This may help to account for apparent inconsistencies across extant studies and shed light on the mechanisms at work in a much-studied relationship. Further analysis shows that development affects electoral democracy by reducing electoral fraud, election violence and vote buying.",
keywords = "democracy, democratisation, economic development, elections, modernisation",
author = "Knutsen, {Carl Henrik} and John Gerring and Skaaning, {Svend Erik} and Jan Teorell and Matthew Maguire and Michael Coppedge and Lindberg, {Staffan I.}",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1111/1475-6765.12282",
language = "English",
volume = "58",
pages = "292--314",
journal = "European Journal of Political Research",
issn = "0304-4130",
publisher = "Kluwer",
number = "1",