With Markus Brückner. November 2008
Recessions due to low rainfall triggered democratic change in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is consistent with the economic (window-of-opportunity) theory of political transitions. Our analysis quantifies democratic change by improvements in democracy scores as well as transitions from autocracy to democracy (an earlier (February 2008) version of the paper focused on the latter). The latest version eliminates a handful of inconsequential errors in the rainfall data that colleagues made us aware of.