Journal of Economic Growth

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 189–211

Political instability and economic growth

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Sule Özler
  • Nouriel Roubini
  • Phillip Swagel


This paper investigates the relationship between political instability and per capita GDP growth in a sample of 113 countries for the period 1950 through 1982. We define political instability as the propensity of a government collapse, and we estimate a model in which such a measure of political instability and economic growth are jointly determined. The main result of this paper is that in countries and time periods with a high propensity of government collapse, growth is significantly lower than otherwise. We also discuss the effects of different types of government changes on growth.


political instability economic growth government changes coup d'etat 

JEL classification



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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Alesina
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sule Özler
    • 3
  • Nouriel Roubini
    • 4
    • 5
  • Phillip Swagel
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of EconomicHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.National Bureau of Economic Research, and Center for Economic Policy ResearchUSA
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Stern School of Business, New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.National Bureau of Economic Research; and Center for Economic Policy ResearchUSA
  6. 6.Department of EconomicsNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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