ECONOMIC CRISIS AND POLITICAL REGIME CHANGE: AN EVENT HISTORY ANALYSIS
By: MARK J. GASIOROWSKJ
Louisiana State University
I examine the effect of economic crises on domestic political regime change. Using a statistical technique known as event history analysis and a new data set that identifies all instances of regime change in the 97 largest Third World countries, I develop multivariate models of democratic
breakdown and democratic transition.
My main findings are that inflationary crises inhibited democratization from the 1950s through the early 1970s but may have facilitated it in the late 1980s and that recessionary crises facilitated democratic breakdown but had no effect on democratic transition throughout this period. The inflation findings-though not the recession findings-support the arguments of Karen Remmer and Samuel Huntington that the processes affecting democratization were very different in the 1980s than in earlier eras. A number of other explanatory variables emerge as significant determinants of regime change, providing support for several other contentions that have appeared in the literature.