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Research Details

Hit or Miss?: The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics

Abstract

Assassinations are a persistent feature of the political landscape. Using a new data set of assassination attempts on all world leaders from 1875 to 2004, we exploit inherent randomness in the success or failure of assassination attempts to identify assassination's effects. We find that, on average, successful assassinations of autocrats produce sustained moves toward democracy. We also find that assassinations affect the intensity of small-scale conflicts. The results document a contemporary source of institutional change, inform theories of conflict, and show that small sources of randomness can have a pronounced effect on history.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Benjamin F. Jones, Benjamin Olken

Date Published

2009

Citations

Jones, F. Benjamin, and Benjamin Olken. 2009. Hit or Miss?: The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. 1(2): 55-87.

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