Colonialism, European Descendants and Democracy
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This paper advances that the share of European descendants in the population is a major determinant of democracy in former colonial countries. We test this hypothesis using cross-section and panel regressions with 60 developing and developed countries that were once colonies. We find that the share of European descendants can explain more than half of the difference in measures of democracy between the least and the most democratic countries in our sample. We control for other potential determinants of democracy and test for endogeneity bias using instrumental variables.