Regime Duration, Institutional Memory, and Economic Freedom
Zeager, Mary Frances
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In this paper, we expand the sociological research about institutional memory to economics. Using Polity IV’s durability measure as a proxy for institutional memory, we examine the effects of durability on a country’s likelihood of being present in the Economic Freedom of the World Index (EFW) and the change in a country’s score. Ultimately, we find evidence that a long-lasting, democratic regime appears to allow a country to deeply embed knowledge of economically free institutions within the culture of its society. Countries that experience long-lasting autocratic regimes are slow to adapt their institutions, such that they do not appear in the EFW or have slow changing EFW scores.