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This paper investigates the empirical role of violent conflicts for the causal effect of democracy on economic growth. Exploiting within-country variation to identify the effect of democratization during the "Third Wave", the authors find evidence that the effect of democratization is weaker than reported previously once one accounts for the incidence of conflict, while the incidence of conflict itself significantly reduces growth. The results show in turn that permanent democratic transitions significantly reduce the incidence and onset of conflict, which suggests that part of the positive growth effect of democratization arises because democratization reduces conflict incidence.
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