Satisfaction with Democracy in Latin America: Do the Characteristics of the Political System Matter?

Produced by: 
Universidad de la República - Uruguay
Available from: 
October 2016
Paper author(s): 
Selim Jürgen Ergun
M. Fernanda Rivas
Máximo Rossi
Politics and Economy

This paper analyzes the impact that the rules and characteristics of the political system have on satisfaction with democracy in Latin America. Using individual level survey data provided by Latinobarometer and controlling for both personal characteristics and macroeconomic variables, we find that the rules and characteristics of the political system do matter: Satisfaction with democracy is higher in countries that use a proportional electoral rule for choosing the legislature, where voting is not enforced, and in countries with a federal system. The age of democracy has a negative impact on satisfaction with democracy while the electoral rule used to choose the president does not matter. On the economic side, we find that personal assessments of the economy impact more on satisfaction with democracy than actual macroeconomic data.


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