John A. Doces, Associate Professor of Political Science
We study the relationship between trade openness and democracy using a data set with capital-labor ratios, trade flows, and regime type for 142 countries between 1960 and 2007. We are among the first to test a prediction that emerges from the model of Acemoglu and Robinson (2006): Relative factor endowments determine whether trade promotes democracy or not. The statistical results from two-stage least squares estimation indicate that trade is positively associated with democracy among labor-abundant countries but that trade has a negative effect on democracy in capital-abundant countries. The results are not robust, however, and thus we conclude that the evidence in support of their argument is relatively weak.
Doces, John A. and Magee, Christopher S. “Trade and Democracy: A Factor-Based Approach.” International Interactions 41, no. 2 (2015) : 407-425.