“Power and Persistence: The Indigenous Roots of Representative Democracy,” (2019) (joint with Jeanet Bentzen Sinding and Jacob Gerner Hariri, University of Copenhagen), Economic Journal, 129, 618, 1, 678-714.

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Power and Persistence: The Indigenous Roots of Representative Democracy

This paper documents that indigenous democratic practices are associated with contemporary representative democracy. The basic association is conditioned on the relative strength of the indigenous groups within a country; stronger groups were able to shape national regime trajectories, weaker groups were not. Our analyses suggest that institutions are more likely to persist if they are supported by powerful actors and less likely to persist if the existing power structure is disrupted by, e.g., colonisation. Our findings contribute to a growing literature on institutional persistence and change.