Differences in Political Systems

Differences in the political systems amongst countries are measured in two distinct dimensions.  The first dimension is the degree of democracy.  This dimension is measured using four scales:

D1ij   is the difference in the POLCON V scale between countries i & j,

D2ij   is the difference in the Modified POLITY IV scale between countries i & j,

D3ij   is the difference in the Freedom House Political Rights scale between countries i & j, and

D4ij   is the difference in the Freedom House Civil Liberties scale between countries i & j.

The second aspect of differences in political systems concerns the political ideology of the group in power.  This dimension is unfortunately only measured with one single indicator:

Socialij   is the difference in Beck’s Political Ideology scale between countries i & j.

The scores for each of the four democracy indicators, the resultant democracy factor (see below concerning the confirmatory factor analysis), and the sole political ideology indicator can be found in an Excel spreadsheet attached at the bottom of this page. This spreadsheet contains the values for 14,280 country pairs (i.e. n x n-1 for 120 countries). The precise coding for these variables is explained below.  Please note that in accordance with the arguments and analyses presented in our JIBS paper, the absolute value of these two dimensions are appropriate forms if you are using them as indicators of psychic distance. 

 

TIME PERIOD

For all of the political system indicators, the attached data represent the mean scores for 1993 to 1998 inclusive.

 

POLITICAL SYSTEM INDICATOR CALCULATIONS  

Dem F (abs) = absolute value of  Dem F

Dem Fis the single-factor solution, using principal component analysis, for D1ij, D2ij, D3ij and D4ij  

D1ij = (D1i – D1j)          

Where, D1i =  Henisz’s (2000) POLCON V measure (0 to 1, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the exporting country (i)          

And, D1j =  Henisz’s (2000) POLCON V measure (0 to 1, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the importing country (j)  

D2ij = (D2i – D2j)          

Where, D2i = Bollen’s Polity IV – Polity measure (-10 to +10 scale, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the exporting country (i)          

And, D2j = Bollen’s Polity IV – Polity measure (-10 to +10 scale, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the importing country (j)  

D3ij = (D3i – D3j)          

Where, D3i = the Freedom House Political Rights scale (1-7; reverse coded, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the exporting country (i)          

And, D3j = the Freedom House Political Rights scale (1-7; reverse coded, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the importing country (j)  

D4ij = (D4i – D4j)          

Where, D4i = the Freedom House Civil Liberties scale (1-7; reverse coded, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the exporting country (i)          

And, D4j = the Freedom House Civil Liberties scale (1-7; reverse coded, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the importing country (j)  

Social (abs) = absolute value of  Socialij

Socialij = (Sociali – Socialj)            

Where, Sociali =  the average of Beck’s (2001) Right-Centre-Left scale for the chief executive’s political party and the largest political party (0 to 1, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the exporting country (i)            

And, Socialj =  the average of Beck’s (2001) Right-Centre-Left scale for the chief executive’s political party and the largest political party (0 to 1, average score for 1993 to 1998) for the importing country (j)  

 

Dem f– Difference in Democracy Factor:

The four democracy indicators have be reduced to a single factor using confirmatory factor analysis (cfa).  This factor score has been estimated using 14,042 country pairs (i.e. the 119 countries with full data).  The individual factor loadings and the Cronbach alpha are reported below.

  Cronbach
Alpha
Factor
Loading
  Dem f – 4 item factor score for differences in the degree of democracy   0.9670
  D1ij – Difference in the POLCON scale 0.912
  D2ij – Difference in the Modif POLITY IV scale 0.967
  D3ij – Difference in the FH Political Rights scale 0.982
  D4ij – Difference in the FH Civil Liberties scale 0.955

 

MISSING DATA

Of the 120 countries reported on here, Hong Kong was the only country for which not all the democracy data was available.  In this case, the democracy factor score was estimated using the one available democracy variable, D1ij, and the factor scores for differences in industrial development and education.  A multivariate regression of these indicators for 99 countries yielded an adjusted r2 of 0.831. 

 

SOURCES

The primary sources for these estimates were:

      • Henisz, W. J. (2000) ‘The Institutional environment for Economic Growth’, Economics and Politics 12(1): 1-31.
      • Gleditsch, K. S. (2003) ‘Modified Polity P4 and P4D Data’, [www document] http://weber.ucsd.edu/~kgledits/Polity.html (accessed 17 December 2003).
      • Freedom_House (2000) ‘Freedom in the World’, [www document] http://www.freedomhouse.org (accessed 17 December 2003).
      • Beck, T., Clarke, G., et al. (2001) ‘New Tools in Comparative Political Economy: The Database of Political Institutions’, World Bank Economic Review 15(1): 165-176.

Differences_in_Political_Systems_n14280.xlsx