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In this paper, the authors use a transparent statistical methodology - synthetic control methods - to implement data-driven comparative studies about the impact of autocratic transition on real per capita GDP. The applied methodology compares the growth of countries that experienced a transition to autocracy with the growth of a convex combination of similar countries that remained democratic, and it accommodates for the time-varying impact of unobservable heterogeneity. To implement this statistical framework, in a panel of 160 countries, they focus on 14 episodes of transition from democracy to autocracy.
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