Robert Bates

Robert H. Bates is Eaton Professor in the Department of Government, and a member of the Department of African and African-American Studies. He has also served as Professeur associe, Department of Economics, University of Toulouse. After rising to Full Professor at the California Institute of Technology, he became the Henry R. Luce Professor of Political Science and Economics at Duke University, where he also directed its Center for Political Economy. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he received his B. A. from Haverford in 1964 and his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1969. He is the author of numerous books, including Markets and States in Tropical Africa (1981), Beyond the Miracles of the Market (1989), Open Economy Politics (1997), Analytic Narratives (1998), Prosperity and Violence (2002) and When Things Fell Apart (2008). He is also co-author and co-editor of the 2 volume study of the Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960-2000 (2008). Bates has undertaken extensive fieldwork in Colombia, Brazil and several nations in Africa. Among his fields of interest are political economy, political development, political violence, and African politics. He has served as President of the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, Vice President of the Association and a member of the board of the African Studies Association. He also serves as an active member of the African Economic Research Consortium. He has served as a member of the Political Instability Task Force of the United States government, with USIAD, and as a consultant with the World Bank.

Content by Robert Bates
  • Project

    Democracy and Income: A Time Series Analysis with Special Reference to Africa

    In our paper we revisit Lipset’s Law. Writing in 1959, Seymour Martin Lipset reported a strong and positive correlation between income per capita and democracy in a global cross section of nations. He concluded that economic development is a causal mechanism for democratization. Doing so, he not only lay the foundations of modernization theory in comparative politics but...

    4 Sep 2014 | Anke Hoeffler, Robert Bates

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Income and Democracy: Lipset’s Law Inverted (Policy Brief)

    1 Aug 2012 | , Robert Bates, Anke Hoeffler

  • Publication - Working Paper

    The State of Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Africa experienced a wave of democratization over the past 20 years and this increase in democracy, we find, positively and significantly affects income per capita. Our dynamic panel data results suggest that countries only slowly converge to their long-run income values as predicted by current democracy levels, however. African countries may therefore be currently too...

    1 Aug 2012 | Robert Bates, Anke Hoeffler