The economic impact of political instability and mass civil protest

Samer Matta, Michael Bleaney, Simon Appleton
Content Type
Working Paper
Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research (NICEP)
An extensive literature has examined the economic effects of non-violent political instability events. Nonetheless, the issue of whether economies react differently over time to such events remains largely unexplored. Using synthetic control methodology, which constructs a counterfactual in the absence of political instability, we estimate the output effect of 38 regime crises in the period 1970-2011. A crucial factor is whether crises are accompanied by mass civil protest. In the crises accompanied by mass civil protest, there is typically an immediate fall in output which is never recovered in the subsequent five years. In crises unaccompanied by protest, there are usually no significant effects. Furthermore, this paper provides new evidence that regime crises (with and without mass civil protest) have heterogeneous (country-specific) effects on output per capita.
Economics, Political Economy, Regime Change, Political stability, Economic Growth, Protests, Economic Policy, Civil Unrest
Political Geography
Global Focus