This paper re-examines the findings from a recently published study on hydrocarbon rents and autocratic survival by Lucas and Richter (LR hereafter). LR introduce a new data set on hydrocarbon rents and use it to examine the link between oil income and autocratic survival. Employing a placebo test, we show that the authors’ strategy for dealing with missingness in the new hydrocarbon rents data set – filling in missing data with zeros – creates bias in the reported estimates of interest. Addressing missingness with multiple imputation shows that the LR findings linking oil rents to democratization do not hold. Instead, we find that hydrocarbon rents reduce the chances of transition to a new dictatorship, consistent with the conclusions of Wright et al.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration
- Political Science and International Relations