Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War
Jones, Benjamin F., and
Benjamin A. Olken. 2009. "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War."
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
Assassinations are a persistent feature of the political landscape.
Using a new dataset of assassination attempts on all world leaders
from 1875 to 2004, we exploit inherent randomness in the success
or failure of assassination attempts to identify the effects of assassination.
We find that, on average, successful assassinations of
autocrats produce sustained moves toward democracy. We also find
that assassinations affect the intensity of small-scale conflicts. The
results document a contemporary source of institutional change,
inform theories of conflict, and show that small sources of randomness
can have a pronounced effect on history. (JEL D72, N40, O17)
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Jones, Benjamin F. (Northwestern U)
Olken, Benjamin A. (MIT)
D72: Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
O17: Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
N40: Economic History: Government, War, Law, and Regulation: General, International, or Comparative
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