Empirical Economics

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 1207–1230 | Cite as

The effect of income on democracy revisited a flexible distributional approach

  • Rajius IdzalikaEmail author
  • Thomas Kneib
  • Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso


We reexamine the effect of economic development on the level of democracy based on the data sets of Acemoglu et al. (Am Econ Rev 98(3):808–842, 2008) with a novel regression specification utilizing a zero–one-inflated beta distribution for the response variable democracy. Contrary to the results of Acemoglu et al. (2008), some support for a positive association between income and democracy is found when assuming that the variance of explanatory variables is heterogenous. In particular, our results show that rising income is associated with a probability of becoming fully democratic, but income is not generally associated with the mean level of democracy.


Income Democracy Beta distribution Bimodal OECD 

JEL Classification

O1 C16 



The authors are grateful to the anonymous referee of this journal for their constructive comments and also to Jennifer Phillips for proofreading this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajius Idzalika
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Kneib
    • 2
  • Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Economic SciencesUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Center for StatisticsUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.Dept. of EconomicsUniversity Jaume ICastellónSpain

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