“Culture, Institutions and Democratization” by Gerard Roland
University of California, Berkeley and NBER
We construct a model of revolution and transition to democracy under an individualist and a collectivist culture. We show that countries having a more individualistic culture, despite potentially being less able to overcome collective action problems, are more likely to end up adopting democracy faster than countries with collectivist culture. Empirically, we show that there is a strong causal effect from individualistic culture to average polity scores, controlling for other determinants of democracy emphasized in the literature.