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Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Is There a Neighborhood Effect?

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AbstractIn this paper we explore the effects of external factors on the development of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. We focus on how the level of democracy in bordering countries affects democracy in neighboring countries. Little, if any, work has considered the spatial factors associated with democracy especially within sub-Saharan Africa. Our empirical analysis—using multiple estimation strategies—reveal that a higher level of democracy (in bordering countries) is directly associated with democracy (in the neighboring country). The results from a fixed effects estimator with a large number of controls indicates a one standard deviation increase in democracy in the bordering countries increases democracy by over one full point (using the Polity IV index of democracy). A seemingly unrelated regression and instrumental variables (IV) analysis extend the discussion. The IV results indicate the effect increases to over 2.5 points. We conclude with a discussion of the broader implications of our findings.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political ScienceBucknell Universityjohn.doces@bucknell.edu; 2: Department of EconomicsBucknell University

10.1163/15691497-12341280
/content/journals/10.1163/15691497-12341280
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2013-01-01
2016-12-03

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