Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

On the endogeneity of political preferences: Evidence from individual experience with democracy

Volume: 347
Number: 6226
Pages: 1145 - 1148
Month: March
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2015

Democracies depend on the support of the general population, but little is known about the determinants of this support. We investigated whether support for democracy increases with the length of time spent under the system and whether preferences are thus affected by the political system. Relying on 380,000 individual-level observations from 104 countries over the years 1994 to 2013, and exploiting individual-level variation within a country and a given year in the length of time spent under democracy, we find evidence that political preferences are endogenous. For new democracies, our findings imply that popular support needs time to develop. For example, the effect of around 8.5 more years of democratic experience corresponds to the difference in support for democracy between primary and secondary education.