Development, democracy, and mass killings

William Easterly, Roberta Gatti, Sergio Kurlat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Using a newly assembled dataset spanning from 1820 to 1998, we study the relationship between the occurrence and magnitude of episodes of mass killing and the levels of development and democracy across countries and over time. Mass killings appear to be more likely at intermediate levels of income and less likely at very high levels of democracy. However, the estimated relationship between democracy and probability of mass killings is not linear in the full sample. In the XXth century, discrete improvements in democracy are systematically associated with episodes involving fewer victims.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)129-156
    Number of pages28
    JournalJournal of Economic Growth
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 2006


    • Democracy
    • Growth
    • Mass killings

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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