Democracy, Geography and Model Uncertainty

Oberdabernig, Doris Anita; Humer, Stefan; Crespo Cuaresma, Jesus (2018). Democracy, Geography and Model Uncertainty. Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 65(2), pp. 154-185. Wiley 10.1111/sjpe.12140

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We analyse the nature of robust determinants of differences in democracy levels across countries taking explicitly into account uncertainty in the choice of covariates and spatial spillovers. We make use of recent developments in Bayesian model averaging to assess the effect of a large number of potential factors affecting democratisation processes and account for several specifications of spatial linkages. Our results indicate that spatial spillovers are present in the data even after controlling for a large number of geographical covariates. Addressing the determinants of democracy without modelling such spillovers may lead to flawed inference about the nature of the determinants of democratisation processes. In particular, our results emphasise the role played by Muslim religion, population size, trade volumes, English language, natural resource rents, GDP per capita, being a MENA country and the incidence of armed conflicts as factors affecting democracy robustly.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Other Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Oberdabernig, Doris Anita


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation








Pablo Rahul Das

Date Deposited:

08 Dec 2017 15:12

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2020 08:51

Publisher DOI:





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