Przeworski, Adam et al. 2013. Political Institutions and Political Events (PIPE) Data Set. Department of Politics, New York University. The original data and codebook can be downloaded from https://sites.google.com/a/nyu.edu/adam-przeworski/home/data. The documentation below is directly derived from the codebook, with some modifications.
An object of class
tbl_df (inherits from
data.frame) with 18151 rows and 101 columns.
Adam Przeworski. 2013. Political Institutions and Political Events (PIPE) Data Set. Data set. https://sites.google.com/a/nyu.edu/adam-przeworski/home/data
The data were originally collected by Tamar Asadurian, Anjali Thomas Bohlken, Carolina Curvale, and Sunny Kuniyathu. They went through several rounds of revisions and additions with the participation of Jenny Guardado, Jean Hong, Sebastian Lavezzolo, Kristin Michelitch, Yingying Na, Lindsay Schorr Newman, S.K. Park, Didac Queralt, Gonzalo Rivero, Kong Joo Shin, Tolga Sinmazdemir, and Tianyang Xi. Pablo Barbera, Jeff Carnegie, Sonke Ehret, Omar Garcia-Ponce, Jaeyoun Jung, Yu Jeon Park, and Pedro Silva additionally checked some countries. To catch discrepancies, some variables were checked against other data compilations. No other data source, however, was used in its original form. The discrepancies that remain are due either to deffinitional differences or to a different assessment of facts.
The data set is intended to cover all countries that were or would become independent at any time after 1917, each from the inception of the first representative institutions or from the date of independence, whichever comes first, through 2008. The rows of the data matrix contain information for countries during years.
In general, whenever the relevant situation may change during the year, recorded is the status as of December 31. For example, if a country had a legislature during some parts of a particular year but the legislature was closed at the end of the year, it is coded as closed for this year. Other variables, however, either count the frequency of particular events during a particular year (for example, the number of chief executives) or are country invariant. The code -1 generically refers to situations in which a particular variable is not applicable. This coding is not always consistent: sometimes in such situations data are recorded as missing, for example, presidential elections in countries where there are no presidents.
Note: Some countries had convoluted histories: (1) They became independent, lost independence by being annexed by another country or by joining a federation, and then became independent again. (2) They split and became unified again. (3) They emerged from collapse of empires or from splits from another country. (4) They resulted from unification of previously independent or separate units. Our general rule is to keep as the same over time countries under (1) and (2) but to treat as new countries those under (3) and (4). The Baltic republics are an example of (1), Germany is a case of (2), Serbia, which split from Yugoslavia together with Macedonia and then from Macedonia illustrates (3), while post-1975 Vietnam is a case of (4).
Some countries belonged at some times to other countries. For example, the Czech Republic, which became independent as of 1993, was a part of the Austrio-Hungarian Empire before 1918 and of Czechoslovakia between 1918 and 1992. We refer as "supra-units" to those units that contained at least one territory that would become independent at any time after 1917 and as "parts" to those units that composed them. The supra-units need not be independent: British India is an example. Colonial empires are not considered as supra-units and they are coded as such separately.
The name of the country at the time. This has been
partially reconstructed. The original data was missing many names, and did
not use a consistent scheme for naming countries. Use
The number of the country. Note: For historical reasons the numbering of countries is haphazard. Countries with numbers less than 142 are arranged alphabetically within regions but the remaining countries are not. This will be corrected in a future version.
The number of the country in the Correlates of War (COW) data set. This has been reconstructed. The original data was missing several cowcodes.
The calendar year.
A unique observation identifier, concatenation of
year. For example, Turkey is country 125 and in 1900
id is 1251900.
Identifies a particular observation by the number of a supra-unit
of which it is a part and year. For example, in 1900 Turkey was part of the
Ottoman Empire, the
id of which is 540, so that
id2 for Turkey
in this year is 5401900. This
id is shared among all constituent
parts of the Ottoman Empire in 1900. If a territory is not part of a
Identifies a particular observation by the number of the country
of which the territory is a dependency. For example, in 1900 Kenya was a
dependency of the United Kingdom, which is country 126, so ID3 for Kenya for
the year 1900 is 1261900 If a territory is not a dependency, then
Identifies the supra-unit of which a particular unit is a part
during a particular year. Thus,
supra=540 for all parts of the
supra is coded only if
otherwise, it is coded as missing. Note that this implies that
is coded as missing for the supra-units themselves.
is the year during which a country became independent. For countries that were independent before year 1000 the date is set arbitrarily at 1000. In case of entities that became unified, coded is the year of unification. For countries that temporarily lost independence having been annexed to other countries, the most recent date of independence is given. For units that never became independent as such (West African Federation, Leeward Islands Federation), the code is -1.
Current political status of the country. Coded as: -1 Does not exist as a separate country 0 Dependency 1 Independent, not colonizer 2 Colonizer Note: The code -1 is used to keep rows of countries that were independent, lost independence or split, and then reappeared, in fact some of the Soviet Republics and Germany. Only occupations of territories lasting longer than ten years are considered as constituting colonial rule. For example, the Italian occupation of Ethiopia is not considered as colonial.
Dummy for country years during which a territory was occupied by a foreign power, as long as this power controlled central government (until the first election of the national government) or occupied the capital. The variable does not apply to metropolitan rule in dependencies. Countries that are annexed to another country (for example, Baltic republics in 1940) are not occupied. Note: A country can be a colony and occupied only if the occupier is distinct from the colonial power, for example, Japan in the Dutch colony of Indonesia. Coded as of December 31, so that occupations that begin and end within the same year are ignored.
The year in which the most recent constitution was promulgated, whether or not it was implemented. Even if a constitution is extensively modified by amendments, it remains the same unless a new constitution is formally adopted or the old constitution is formally abrogated without being replaced. This variable is coded as 0 if there is no constitution, it is coded as -1 if there is more than one constitution.
Note: Constitutions are defined nominally, that is, a document is a constitution if it is called that. Sometimes there are several acts that together constitute a constitution: if they have different dates, we use the one that regulates the selection of the chief executive. Documents called "Instructions of government" or the like are included if they regulate the selection of the chief executive.
The frequency with which constitutions change differs greatly across countries. For example, Dominican Republic had thirty-three constitutions between 1844 and 1995, in part because every time a constitution was in any way amended, the modified document was called a new constitution. In contrast, Sweden changed basic provisions concerning the composition of the legislature, franchise, and parliamentary responsibility without formally recognizing any of these changes as a new constitution until 1975. Hence, the constitutions coded here are not equivalent units. The "English Constitution" was a combination of written rules (collected for the first time between 1769 and 1777 at the instigation of the House of Lords), legal precedents, informal norms, and unstated habits, but ever before its first description by De Lolme in 1771, it was recognized as a stable for of organization of government. We date it, somewhat arbitrarily, to 1688. We also attribute this date to pre-1964 Barbados. In the case of Israel, we use the year of first basic law, 1958.
The year in which the constitution in force by the end
of a year was promulgated. A constitution is in force whenever its
provisions concerning the selection of the chief executive or of the
legislature (if any) are implemented. This variable equals
const_onpaper except that it is coded as 0 if: (1) If a constitution
was never implemented (the French Constitution of 1793, the 1976
Constitution of the Central African Republic), (2) If a constitution
provides for an elected chief executive and/or the legislature and all such
provisions are violated.
Note: The reason to use such de facto rules is that the legal status of the constitution is sometimes difficult to determine. For example, the Junta headed by General Ongania in Argentina in 1966 deposed the president and the vicepresident, dissolved the Congress, and banished political parties, while adopting Statutes of the Argentine Revolution as an organic document regulating the operation of the government, all seemingly without any reference to the Constitution of 1853 (Floria and Belsunce 1988: 193). Even more nuanced were the years 1973-76 in Chile, where views as to whether the Constitution of 1925 remained in force were divided even among advisors of the military Junta. Only by 1976, the Junta passed Constitutional Acts, thus effectively abrogating the previous constitution and only in 1980 a new constitution was adopted (Barros 2002). Some constitutions do not provide for any kind of elections. In such cases the constitution is considered to be in force as long as its other provisions are observed. There are also frequent cases in which a constitution is implemented only several years after it is adopted: for example, the first elections under the 1974 Constitution of Mali took place only in 1979. In such cases, the constitution is considered to be in effect even before it is implemented. This rule applies anew each time a constitution is reinstated. The coding of constitutions in force is conservative, in the sense that a constitution is considered to be in force if it provides for an election for both the chief executive and a legislature and only one of them is elected. A more stringent coding can be constructed by recoding constitutions as not being in force if either the chief executive or the legislature is not elected. Note, however, that even if one of these actors is not currently elected, it may be elected during subsequent years still under the same constitutions.
Here is a list of constitutions that did not provide for an elected chief executive or legislature:
1975 Angola: the legislative organ (council of the revolution) performed both executive and legislative functions; hence, it was not counted as a legislature. The head of the MPLA was the chief executive; he was not elected.
1969 Congo (Brazaville): did not provide for a legislature.
1951 Nepal: chief executive is the monarch and there is no elected legislature.
1865 Mexico: sovereignty vested in emperor, no elected legislature.
1884 British Honduras: crown colony, no elected legislature.
1865 Jamaica: crown colony, no elected legislature.
1939 Albania: executive power vested in the King and exercised by the King's viceroy. Legislative power was vested in the King, and a Superior Fascist Corporative Council appointed to assist the Crown.
Note: Constitutional provisions are coded as provided for in the
constitutions, that is, according to
const_onpaper, even if the
constitution is not observed (
const_inforce=0) or if it has fallen
into disuse or was never used. For example, the last royal veto occurred in
England in 1706 and the last unilateral dissolution in 1834 but because no
legal acts were passed to curtail these royal prerogatives they are coded as
Title of the nominal head of government (chief executive, as distinct from the head of state), according to the constitution. Nominating and dismissing powers are not executive powers. Presiding over meetings of the council of ministers or promulgating laws are also not considered executive powers. These rules apply even if these powers are specified in a section of constitution that deals with executive powers.
-1 if there is no constitution or more than one
0 if monarch or governor general (if the constitution states that the monarch is the chief executive)
1 if prime minister (president of the government or equivalent)
2 if president who cannot be removed in good behavior during a fixed term, whether directly or indirectly elected,
3 if the constitution gives executive powers both to president, who cannot be removed during a fixed term, and to a prime minister. Typically, such constitutions enumerate specific powers of the president and reserve the remaining powers for the government.
4 if collective,
5 if other.
Note: Coded mechanically as 0 for the British colonies. Chief executive is coded as collective even if one person bears the title of the president of the collective body, say military junta, but not of the country.
Dummy for the power of the head of state to dissolve the legislature (at least the lower house) unilaterally. 0 if never unilaterally. 1 if a unilateral (that is, not at the request of someone else) decision of the dissolver.
Note: Dissolution power is unilateral if the head of state can dissolve the parliament without the consent of the government or leaders of political parties in the legislature. It is still unilateral if dissolution requires the consultation or consent of non-elected bodies or if there are restrictions concerning the frequency or the period during which it can occur.
Captures legal provisions regulating the mode of selection of the lower house of the legislature. Whenever there are no such provisions but a legislature exists, the actual mode of selection is coded. These provisions are coded whether or not the legislature in fact exists, as long as they have not been formally abrogated or suspended.
Rows distinguish elected vs. appointed legislatures. Ex-officio members are considered as appointed. Columns specify whether or not there are distinct electorates (whether people living next to each other vote for the same seats) and/or whether the appointed seats are distributed among some categories.
The coding entails two levels. At the first level, as represented by integers, we indicate whether the legislature was fully appointed, partially appointed and partially elected, or fully elected, and whether either those appointed or the voters were distinguished according to some criteria. In cases of partly elected and partly appointed legislatures, the first decimal indicates whether distinctions apply to the electorate or to the appointed position. In cases where at least some members are appointed, the second decimal provides information whether appointments resulted from delegation from below or nomination from above. Thus, for example, in Austria between 1848 and 1877, voters were divided into curiae according to property criteria: we code this case as 10. In Jordan, the legislature was elected except for two seats reserved for Bedouins, who were appointed: the code is 7.01 since the legislature was partially appointed (7) and the representatives were nominated from above (0.01). Finally, in Fiji in 1929, Europeans and Indo-Fijians were elected by separate electorates, while Fijians were appointed by the chiefs: we code is as 7.12 since the legislature was partially appointed (7), the distinction by race/ethnicity applied to voters (0.1), and the appointed representatives were delegates (0.02). We ignore functional bodies such as in Yugoslavia 1974 and therefore code them as missing. If there is a functional body along with territorial body, we focus on the latter. Quotas, such as that some proportion of the legislature must be female, are not considered unless there are separate electorates for male and female seats. The codes for particular categories are represented by cell entries in the table (table cannot be reporduced properly here - consult online codebook at https://sites.google.com/a/nyu.edu/adam-przeworski/home/data):
None Income, Race Both Property, Ethnicity Profession Religion Estate Gender None 0 0 0 0 Fully appointed& 1 2 3 4 Partly appointed 5& 6& 7& 8& Fully elected 9 10 11 12
None means that there are no constitutional provisions for a legislature and no legislature in fact.
Accompanied by a decimal as follows: 0.1 if distinctions apply to the electorate 0.2 if distinctions apply to the appointed positions 0.3 if distinctions apply both to the electorate and the appointed positions
& Accompanied by a centecimal as follows: 0.01 appointed from above 0.02 appointed from below 0.03 some are appointed from above and some are appointed from below
In addition to these codes, assemblies based on estate representation are coded as 13. Estate assemblies were bodies divided into three of more chambers, each of which contained representatives (or indeed all members appearing personally) of one, and only one, legally privileged status group or estate such as the nobility, the clergy, and the burghers of the self-governing towns. (Ertman 1997: 21) An estate, in turn, may be defined as a group of people having the same status in the sense in which that word is used by lawyers. A status in this sense is a position to which is attached a bundle of rights and duties, privileges and obligations, legal capacities and incapacities, which are publicly recognized and which can be defined and enforced by public authority and in many cases by courts of law. (Marshall 1965: 193). For a discussion of the Estate system, see Poggi (1978: Chapter 3).
Number of houses of the legislature: 0 if none, 1, 2, 3. A legislature that is elected in one election and then divides itself into chambers that differ in some prerogatives and at least at times vote separately is coded as multicameral. An example is Norway as of 1814.
Composition of the legislature. 0 if unicameral, 1 if second (upper) house is fully elected (directly or not), 2 if second (upper) house is partially appointed, 3 if second (upper) house is fully appointed or hereditary.
Indicates whether the second (upper) house can delay or
veto the decisions of the first (lower) house. -1 if the legislature is
unicameral, 0 if the second (upper) house cannot block or delay legislation
passed by the lower (first) house, 1 if the second (upper) house can only
put a suspensive veto or can send for reconsideration (a "suspensive veto"
is any veto that can be overridden by someone), 2 if the second (upper)
house must approve must legislation or can put a final veto. Note: Blocking
applies to any issue area. Note that if
upper_house= 1 AND
upper_block =1, then non-elective legislative power can block.
Indicates whether anyone outside the legislature, other than courts, can block legislation. 0 if no one cannot suspend or block legislation, 1 if someone can put a suspensive veto, that is, a veto subject to override, 2 if someone can put derogative veto.
Indicates whether the blocker is elected. -1 if no blocker 0 if not elected (including partially elected blockers) 1 if elected (individuals or bodies appointed by an elected body are considered to be elected)
Franchise. Qualifications for the right to vote in
national elections. Preliminary notes: To account for exclusions not
f, we use the variable
There are cases of coexisting qualifications. We handle them as follows:
(1) If the qualifications differ by ethnicity or religion (common in colonies), we code the least restrictive qualification for non-colonizers.
(2) If the qualifications are set at a sub-national level, we code the variable as missing. (Unified countries in which franchise is regulated by sub-units include the United States, Mexico, or South Africa before 1968, while cases of countries that were not yet politically unified include Argentina before 1853, South Africa before 1910, and Australia before 1901). Regulations concerning immigrants and foreign residents are not considered.
Coding of franchise:
missing before suffrage was instituted for the first time.
The codes 0 to 7 are for males only:
0 No legal provisions for suffrage. This code is applied (a) whenever constitutions or other legal acts providing for suffrage were either abrogated without being replaced or formally suspended, (b) if (a) is unclear, whenever the legislature was closed and neither legislative nor presidential elections were held.
1 Estate representation. Example: Sweden until 1866.
2 Property only.
3 (Property OR income OR taxes OR exercise of profession OR educational titles) AND literacy.
4 Property OR income OR taxes OR exercise of profession OR educational titles. This code applies whenever the law specifies a minimum threshold, even if this threshold is very low (for example, tax contribution of three days of local wages in France in 1789, as long as this requirement is observed. If it is not observed, as in post-1917 Mexico, the code is 6.
5 Literacy only OR (Literacy OR property OR income OR taxes OR exercise of profession OR educational titles). 6 All the economically independent (not personal servants, not debtors, only residence requirement). Includes: (a) phrases that explicitly refer to economic independence. Example: "Tener una propiedad, o ejercer cualquiera profesión, o arte con título público, u ocuparse en alguna industria útil, sin sujeción a otro en clase de sirviente o jornalero." (Peru in 1823) (b) phrases such as known means of subsistence, "honest livelihood." Example: "Son ciudadanos todos los habitantes de la Republica naturales de pais o naturalizados en el que fueren casados, o mayores de diez y ocho anos, siempre que exerzan alguna profesion util o tengan medios conocidos de subsistencia." (Costa Rica 1824) (c) phrases that suggest clearly broad qualifications. Example: "Son ciudadanos todos los salvadoreños mayores de veintiún años que sean padres de familia, o cabezas de casa, o que sepan leer y escribir, o que tengan la propiedad que designa la ley." (El Salvador 1841) (d) cases where suffrage is universal but only for free men (i.e., not slaves) (e) cases that fall under 4 without explicit thresholds. Examples: Romania 1866, Peru 1860. The French constitutions of 1795 and 1799 required "une contribution quelquonque." The 1860 Peruvian constitution qualified anyone who could read and write OR paid any taxes OR owned a workshop OR owned some land. The last provision was intended to allow the indigenous population to vote. (f) cases in which franchise is declared to be universal but excludes those who have failed to pay taxes or those permanently receiving public assistance or those under legal bankruptcy.
7 All ("Manhood"). The only exclusions admitted in this category are: (1) having been convicted of a crime (2) being legally incompetent (3) short, less than two-year local residence requirement. There are some cases, however, where the law contains restrictive phrases, such as the requirement of appearing on the tax rolls or having fulfilled military obligation, these restrictions were not enforced. In such cases franchise was coded as 7. An example is the Ottoman Constitution of 1876 (in force after 1908) or the Swedish law until 1975.
For females, we use the second digit, distinguishing only situations in which
0 if no women can vote
1 women are qualified on narrower basis than males Examples: (a) in England between 1918 and 1927 males were qualified at the age of 20, females at 25. (b) in Canada between 1917 and 1920 the vote was given only to relatives of military. (c) in some countries women voted only in some regions. Note that if females vote in municipal elections, we do not include it since the codes refer only to national elections.
2 women are qualified on the same basis as males.
Auxiliary codes: -1 More than one constitution, any other kind of political chaos that makes the electoral rules inoperative. For years of foreign occupation we either set as missing or extend the restriction in effect before the occupation. -2 Family representation (Bhutan).
The first digit of
The second digit of
Type of franchise extension during a particular year. Coded
as: -1 if contraction 0 if no extension 1 if suffrage was extended by class
(that is, the first digit of
f increased) 2 if suffrage was extended
by gender (that is, the second digit of
f increased) 3 if suffrage
was extended both by class and gender (that is, both digits increased).
Notes: Cases in which franchise changed from f>0 to f=0, whether because
there was no constitution or the new constitution did not provide for
elections are not coded as contractions. There are cases in which new
franchise provisions are adopted but do not enter in force in the subsequent
election. An example is Sweden, which adopted universal suffrage in 1919 but
did not apply it in the election of 1920, only in 1921. In such cases
ext_type is coded for the year of election when the new provision was
applied. *** How is it coded if (1) The country/dependency existed but had
no franchise, (2) The country is new but had franchise as a dependency or a
Captures exclusions not accounted for under
Coded as follows: 0 None other (all restrictions are accounted for under
1 By ethnicity (some ethnic groups are excluded).
2 By territory (people living in some regions cannot vote).
3 By religion (only adherents of a particular religion(s) can vote).
4 By politics (Individuals sympathizing with some political parties or ideologies are excluded. This code refers only to persons, hence it does not cover cases when political parties are banned.). Includes the language in which suffrage is determined by moral character.
5 Slaves are excluded.
6 Military personnel or police is excluded.
7 Priests or nuns are excluded.
8 Propertied are excluded (as in Mongolia, USSR 1918).
Note: When more than one exclusion applies, all are listed as consecutive digits. For example, if 5, 6, and 7 applies, we code exclusions as 567.
Age at which those otherwise qualified to vote can exercise this right. Whenever age thresholds are different for different groups, lowest age is coded, unless the group which can vote at an earlier age is very small, say holders of Legion d'Honneur in post-1946 France.
Secrecy of the vote in legislative elections. 0 Open, public 1 Secret 2 Secret optional 3 Public for some, secret for others. Note: There were few observation coded as 2 or 3 and they have been collapsed with 1 in the data file. The original data do exist.
Refers to voting any national level elections. 0 Optional 1 Compulsory
Mode of election of the president in popular elections. 0 Indirect. The president is chosen by electors, elected specifically for the purpose of selecting the president (not by the parliament). 1 Direct 2 Some voters vote directly, some indirectly, depending on individual characteristics 3 Some voters vote directly, some indirectly, depending on collective characteristics (i.e. territory)
Note: Cases in which the constitution provides that the president is elected by the legislature, including those in which the legislature elects only if none of the candidates obtains some minimum threshold of votes, are coded according to the provisions concerning popular elections, that is, such provisions do not make the mode of election indirect. There were few observation coded as 2 or 3 and they have been collapsed as 2 in the data file. The original data do exist.
Mode of election of the legislature. Refers only to the lower house. 0 Indirect 1 Direct 2 Some voters vote directly, some indirectly, depending on individual characteristics 3 Some voters vote directly, some indirectly, depending on collective characteristics (i.e. territory)
Note: There were few observation coded as 2 or 3 and they have been collapsed with 1 in the data file. The original data do exist.
Constitutionally prescribed duration of the chief executive's tenure (in years). -1 if no term is specified 0 if life term
Note: If the term of the president is extended while an incumbent is in office, it changes in the year it was extended.
Constitutionally prescribed duration of the legislative term in the lower house (in years). -1 if no term is specified 0 if life term Note: If the term of the legislature is extended while incumbents are in office, it changes the year it was extended.
Term limits for presidents. -1 if no term is specified 0 unlimited number of consecutive terms 1 out after 1 term, can never come back 2 out after 1 term, can come back 3 out after more than one term, can come back 4 out after more than one term, can never come back.
Dummy for the chief executive having been elected (whether
directly or indirectly; indirectly means elected by people who have been
elected; if indirectly elected, election by a partly elected body counts as
being elected). In cases of death, constitutional successors of elected
chief executives are coded as elected. Coded is each year of the current
chief executive. Prime ministers are always coded as elected as long as the
legislature is open (
openl=1). If there is a president and a prime
exselec=1 only if both have been elected. If a chief
executive is elected, overthrown by force, and then reinstated, coded as of
the year of reinstatement.
Dummy for the lower house of the legislature having been at
least partly elected. (Coded as 1 if
A dummy variable for the existence of a legislature. A legislature is a body that (1) issues at least some laws and (2) does not perform executive functions. Legislative Councils which advise the ruler but have no authority to proclaim laws are not considered legislatures. Military Juntas that issue legal acts but also perform executive functions are disqualified by the second criterion.
Number of parties in the legislature. By "party" we take here any recognizable, named grouping, regardless whether and how they appeared in elections. This variable is coded regardless whether the legislature was elected or appointed. -1 if no legislature, 0 if none (including cases where parties are officially banned), 1 if one (including cases where other parties are officially banned), 2 if more.
Note: During the early period candidates typically competed in elections on an individual basis, without any kind of centralized party organizations or shared programs. Within legislatures, however, they often coalesced into groups, currents, factions, "sentiments," etc. Hence, subjective judgments are inevitable in coding this variable. Our rule of thumb was to code as parties any kind of groups that bore a label that survived over two consecutive legislatures. This was true in several countries of "Liberals" and "Conservatives." In other countries, notably France between 1815 and 1848, however, the divisive issues, the parliamentary groups, and their labels changed frequently, and such cases are coded as "none." A legislature consisting of one party and independents is coded as one party.
This variable is intended to indicate whether the institutional system allows at least some political pluralism. 1 if as of December 31 there is a legislature that was at least in part elected by voters facing more than one choice.
Note: Even if the legislature consisted of multiple parties but in the election all the candidates were presented to voters on the same, single list, we consider that voters had no choice. If there was only one party while some candidates ran as independents, we also regard it as a situation in which there was no partisan pluralism. If parties were banned and everyone ran as independent, there is no opposition (see Swaziland). If, however, parties were not banned and everyone ran without party labels, then we regard this situation as pluralistic. The idea is that situations in which elections are non-partisan, frequent during the early period, and situations in which more than one party competes in elections represent political pluralism, while monopoly of one party is a political monopoly.
In rare cases it is possible for opposition to exist even if the legislative election was not competitive. This occurs if a competitive presidential election occurred during the term of a non-competitively elected legislature (for example, El Salvador in 1977).
0 if the above is not true OR, only in presidential systems, if it is true BUT either the chief executive is not elected OR was elected unopposed (unless there was consensus among all parties; as in Chile 1891, 1910).
-1 if the legislature was closed at some point during the year and the state as of December 31 is unclear.
Note: If all we know is that the elected president run unopposed, the code is 0.
Number of legislative elections that took place during the year. It includes general elections, regular elections in which only a part of the legislature is renewed, and annulled elections, but not by-elections to replace representatives who did not continue in office. Elections to the upper house only and elections to constitutional assemblies that do not have ordinary legislative powers are excluded. Only first rounds are counted. Note: In several cases constituent assemblies usurped ordinary legislative powers. In such cases elections are counted.
Number of presidential elections that took place during the year. In pure presidential systems (in which there is no prime minister), counted are any kind of elections, direct and indirect, in the latter case regardless of the constitutional status of the electing assembly. Second rounds are not counted, while annulled elections are counted. Presidential plebiscites are included.
Note: The information about presidential elections in systems in which the
president is elected by the parliament is unsystematic and fragmentary.
Elections in systems in which the president is the head of the government,
not only of state, can be identified by setting
below for the definition of
head_title). Presidential elections in
systems in which the head of the government is the prime minister but
presidents are elected by popular vote can be identified by setting
(For details, see Appendix 2.) Ratio of the number of people eligible to vote to the total population. Coded only for years of legislative or presidential elections. For an explanation of how this variable was constructed and the sources, see Appendix 2. Note: In some cases, registration is automatic, so that the number of registered voters is equal to the number of eligible voters. Whenever they differ and a series for registered is available, this is the series used. If it is not available, numbers of eligible voters are used. Finally, in several instances we do not know whether the numbers refer to registered or eligible voters. When elections were indirect, this is the proportion of last-stage electors to the population.
(For details, see Appendix 2.) Ratio of voters in legislative elections to the total population. Coded only for years of legislative elections. If elections are indirect, only the number of primary voters is used.
(For details, see Appendix 2.) Ratio of voters in presidential elections to the total population. Coded only for years of presidential elections. If elections are indirect, only the number of primary voters is used. From this information, one can also make turnout = *part/eligible.
Note: This seems to be a more consistent way of getting turnout that the numbers offered in the sources.
Turnout in legislative elections, according to formula above. Only available for years with legislative elections.
Turnout in presidential elections, according to formula above. Only available for years with presidential elections. There are some obvious problems here - some turnouts exceed 100 of eligible voters.
Eligible voters (by franchise) as percentage of the population. (Undocumented in original codebook. There are some obvious problems here - the variable exceeds 100 for some cases).
Number of lists presented to voters in legislative elections. -1 if no legislature or estate parliament or fully appointed legislature 0 if none, 1 of one, 2 if more.
Note: Several parties offering a joint single list to the voters, "fronts," are counted as 1. The coding is based on the number of lists in an election, not on the number of parties in the legislature. If there is more than one election during a year, the last one is coded. If all candidates run as independents coded as 0.
Number of candidates presented to voters in presidential elections. 0 if one, 1 if more. Note: Applies whether the president is directly or indirectly elected. If there are two rounds, the first one is coded. If there is more than one election during a year, the last one is coded.
The year in which a legislative election should occur
if the legislature serves a complete term. Obtained by adding
to the year in the which the previous legislative election took place.
Because we code the state at the end of a year,
leg_scheduled for a
year in which in election occurred specifies the date of the next scheduled
The year in which a presidential election should
occur. Obtained by adding
presterm to the year in the which the
previous presidential election took place. Because we code the state at the
end of a year,
pres_scheduled for a year in which in election
occurred specifies the date of the next scheduled election.
Number of elections in which the office of the chief
executive was at stake during a year. Counted here are legislative elections
if the chief executive is a prime minister or presidential elections if the
chief executive is the president. Coded according to
Note: There are cases in which there is a prime minister (or equivalent) and
legislative elections but the prime minister is appointed by a monarch
independently of the result of the election, that is, the government can
exist even if it is opposed by a majority of the parliament. One could think
that in cases of such elections the office of the chief executive is not at
stake. It turns out, however, that constitutions do not predict what happens
in the aftermath of elections (Przeworski, Asadurian, Bolhken Thomas, 2011):
sometimes the monarchs ignore the electoral results but at times they
respect the results. Hence, it is not possible to decide ex ante whether the
office of the chief executive was or was not at stake in a particular
election. Except for one flagrant case, that of ???, all legislative
elections in monarchies are coded as
(For details, see Appendix 1.) An alphabetic string that describes how the current incumbent assumed office, indicates whether the incumbent run for office, and whether the incumbent won or lost, where the incumbent can be a person, a party, or a hand-picked successor.
(For details, see Appendix 1.) An alphabetic string that
describes the sequence of events in the election and its aftermath. The
first field is the
result, followed by a code indicating the
institutional status of each subsequent chief executive, until someone holds
office for at least one year or until the next election, whichever comes
Dummy indicating that the incumbent party or non-partisan
incumbent person ran and lost an election. Coded as -1 if
did_not_run is not available in this
(Mnemonic for Strong ALTErnation resulting from an ELection)
Indicates whether partisan control over the chief executive office changed
as a consequence of an election.
salterel is dated in the year in
which the relevant election occurred, not the year new government assumed
office. Hence, the first alternation in history, in the United States, is
coded as of 1800, even though the inauguration occurred in 1801. It is left
as missing in years without the relevant elections. Coded as follows:
1 If the party and the person of the chief executive changes as a result of an election or, where the chief executive is a monarch, the head of government changes along partisan lines as a result on an election or the entire cabinet changes when there is no prime minister. Also applies if there are no parties but a manifest government candidate, who loses and yields office. Coded as 1 only if the outgoing chief executive was elected. Hence, alternation can occur only if the current election did not follow a coup.
0 If (1) The party or the person of the chief executive wins the election. (2) There are two elections during the same year, such that the incumbent party loses the first but wins the second (Iceland in 1959). (3) The incumbent or its successor (party or person), who is not a caretaker chief executive, does not run. (4) The incumbent and rival parties form a coalition. (5) The incumbent loses and remains in office. (6) Neither the winner nor the loser holds office after an election.
-1 If there are elections but no discernible parties or two successive independents or the change is between a non-partisan (caretaker, technical, expert) government and a partisan one, unless the only role of a non-partisan government was to ensure impartial administration of an election,
-2 If an election resulted in the defeat of an incumbent (party or person, previously elected or not) and the winner assumed office but only after someone other than the winner occupied it (except for a few cases in which the constitution provides that an interim non-partisan caretaker should occupy it between the election and the inauguration).
Note: Alternations that result from a previous agreement between parties
count as alternations. Information about the partisan composition of
coalition governments is frequently not available. Hence,
coded as 1 even if the new chief executive was a member of an outgoing
coalition government, as long as he is a member of a different party. The
result is a bias in favor of counting alternations.
Counts the number of times the lower house of the legislature was dissolved in a particular year. Included as dissolutions are (1) unconstitutional closures of the legislature and (2) early constitutional closures. Dissolutions that occur as a formality at the end of the term of legislature are not coded but early dissolutions are. Coded -1 if there was no legislature to dissolve.
Note: Dissolutions are early if they occur at least one full year before the
next regularly scheduled election. If an election occurred in year t and the
legislative term is k years, then a dissolution is counted if it occurred in
$t <= year <= t+k_2$: For the 22 OECD countries during the post-1945 period,
dissolutions are coded as early if they occurred more than 12 months before
the end of the legislative term (based on Maravall 2007). Note that this
variable can assume a value of 1 even if
dissolutions occur when they are not unilateral and sometimes simply
Number of successful coups d'etat during a given year.
Note: A coup is any event resulting in an irregular removal or resignation of the chief executive that involves a violent action or an explicit threat of resorting to it, by an armed organization. Assassinations of the chief executive are not considered coups unless the group responsible for the action takes over the office. Whenever the rules about the replacement of the chief executive are either not codified or unclear, the force criterion prevails. The definition excludes resignations under pressure of popular mobilization if no armed group (legal or not) is involved (resignation of Carlos Mesa in Bolivia). Similarly, irregular transfers of power among civilians that do not entail force (such as changes of communist leaders) are not considered coups. We place no restriction on whether the armed group causing the replacement is domestic or foreign, nor on the identity of the incoming ruler. In particular, any military intervention of foreign powers producing a replacement of the chief executive is coded as a coup, even if they restore a previously elected ruler (French troops overthrowing Bokassa in Central African Republic). As a general rule, any replacement of a military chief executive by another military man is considered a coup, unless the succession occurred according to pre-established rules (Figueirido replacing Geisel in Brazil). Specifically, resignations of the military chief executive caused by votes of non-confidence of irregular military bodies are considered coups (Galtieri replacing Viola in Argentina). The variable is compatible to other conventional sources such as Powell and Thyne (2010), Marshall and Marshall (2009), and Svolik and Akcinaroglu (2010) for the period 1950-2008, with some difference in the interpretation of specific events. Information for the pre-1950 era is more scarce and therefore the coding may be less reliable.
A dummy variable for any instance in which the ruler illegally changes constitutional rules to reduce the chances of the opposition to oppose policies in the legislature or to win elections. Note: The definition comprises any event in which the incumbent illegally closes the legislature the OR closes the legislature legally AND changes electoral rules (including banning parties) or adopts laws that extend his tenure (Philippines in 1972).
Title of the chief executive. This variable identifies the formal position the occupant of which is the head of the government. Note that this variable does not necessarily identify the effective rulers, who need not occupy government positions. Most general (first) secretaries of single ruling parties did not, while some rulers who assumed idiosyncratic titles ("Dictator" "Guardian of Faith," "The Leader") entrusted the operation of the government to their delegates. Coded as follows:
-1 if it is unclear who the chief executive is or if the country is occupied by a foreign power,
0 if the monarch assumes directly the direction of the government,
1 if the head of government can be removed by the parliament under "good behavior,"
2 if the head of government cannot be removed by the parliament or if the president can remove a prime minister, who is the nominal head of government, independently of the parliament,
4 if collective executive,
5 if other.
This variable is generated from
title_ce by introducing the following
modifications: (1) If the constitutional status of the effective chief
executive is unclear but there is someone who holds the title of prime
minister or president, coded respectively as 1 or 2. (2) If the nominal
chief executive is the monarch, coded as 1 unless the monarch occupies the
position of prime minister. (3) In cases in which there is both a president
and a prime minister (
title_ce=3), coded as 1 if the government can
be removed by the legislature and cannot be unilaterally removed by the
president, coded as 2 if either of these conditions is false. (4) In cases
in which the executive is nominally plural but has a clear leader and in
cases in which the nominal ruler bears an unconventional title coded as 1 if
there is a prime minister and as 2 otherwise.
Note: There are cases in which the constitution provides that the head of
the government is a prime minister but the constitution is not in force and
the de facto chief executive is the president. There are also systems that
appear to be parliamentary in that the head of government is a prime
minister who can be removed by the parliament but in which he or she can be
also removed by the president without the consent of the parliament. This is
true, for example, of the 2004 Constitution of Central African Republic,
which states that "The President of the Republic is the Chief of the
Executive. The Prime Minister is the Chief of Government" (Article 21) and
gives the President the power to remove the Prime Minister unilaterally
(Article 40). Such cases are coded as
Number of distinct spells of chief executives during a year. "Spell" refers to a continuous tenure of a person in an office. If the same person holds office more than once during a particular year, with someone else serving in between, each tenure of the same person is counted separately. Juntas and collective presidencies that govern collectively are counted as one, but rotating presidencies are counted separately. Bearers of provisional titles are included as well as acting occupants of existing offices.
Note: (1) If there are several governments in different regions and there is no national one, the whole period is coded as -1. (2) Juntas are counted as one head. (3) Acting heads are counted in cases of time overlap between the nominal head and the acting head; in such cases, the nominal head is not counted. Includes regents. (4) Governments in rebellion are not counted. (5) In some cases an office is not occupied during some part of a year. Such vacancies are not counted.
The number of complete years the current head has been in office.
This variable indicates whether the legislative or the presidential term was completed according to previously specified rules. Note that a particular term can be only completed or not: this variable codes the entire term, not the years of particular chief executives. Right-censored spells are coded as -1. Term is treated differently for different types of heads:
1 For each year of a term during which (i) the chief executive is elected or appointed to a previously specified term AND completes the term OR (ii) the chief executive elected or appointed to a previously specified term dies of natural causes or resigns for reasons of health AND is succeeded by the constitutional successor who then completes the term OR (iii) an early election is held early or the term in office is reduced but completed.
0 For each year of a term during which at least one of the following conditions holds: (i) the incumbent extends the current term in office (changes in term limits do not count as extensions of the current term) (ii) the incumbent is a provisional, acting, or interim chief executive (iii) the incumbent serves a term that had not been previously specified (iv) the chief executive is deposed or impeached or assassinated (v) the incumbent resigns for reasons other than poor health (vi) the incumbent resigns or is briefly ousted and then comes back to finish the term (vii) the incumbent is elected or appointed for a new term before finishing the current term and the new term overlaps with the current one (viii) the term is specifically designed for a particular person (for example, Pinochet in Chile).
With regard to prime ministers the relevant term is the
1 For each year of a legislative term during which all heads of governments were replaced according to constitutional rules while the parliament remained open.
0 otherwise. This includes cases in which the prime minister was overthrown (including assassinated) or imposed by force while the parliament was open as well as cases in which the parliament was constitutionally dissolved and the prime minister was replaced while the parliament remained dissolved. It also includes cases in which the current legislature extended its term and those in which the parliament was dissolved unconstitutionally. Note: It is possible for term to be 0 and the last digit of "sequence" to be "E" if the incumbent extended the term of office while in office and lasted until the election for the longer term (example is Honduras in 1847).
Year during which the first executive completed a
previously specified constitutional term, whether before or after
independence. If a new unit emerged from a breakdown or unification of
previously existing units, first term is coded separately for this new unit.
Coded according to the rules for
term. For prime ministers, first
term is the last year of the term of the first legislature during which
succession of prime ministers followed constitutional rules. The first term
counts if the legislature was constitutionally dissolved and there was an
early election. Country invariant. Right-censored spells are coded as -1.
Note: First term has to be coded separately from term for the following
reason. Suppose that someone assumed office in year t for a k term period.
He completed the term by August 1 of the year t + k. Hence,
first_term = t + k. But if the ruler who assumed on August 1, t + k,
did not finish his term, then
term=0 in t + k.
Mode of entry of the last head (chief executive as given by
head_title) who entered during a particular year. Coded for years in
which an entry occurred (
heads=1 and the particular
position either did not exist or was not occupied previously).
0 if by force (includes any replacement of a military chief executive by another military, unless the succession occurred according to pre-established rules),
1 if openly imposed by a foreign power (includes cases when someone is elected, overthrown by a coup, and reinstated by an intervention of a foreign power; does not include clandestine actions, foreign sponsored coups, foreign pressures, and the like),
2 if selected by any not popularly elected body (e.g., by a self-constituted junta, a single ruling party) or if self-appointed (even if followed by an election), unless self-appointment is to the position of prime minister and the legislature is open,
3 if elected (directly or indirectly but at entry) or if constitutional successor (say vice-president assuming on the death of the president). Note that under parliamentarism elected refers to being approved by the parliament, even if the person was not elected by voters. Prime ministers appointed by monarchs are coded here as long as the legislature is open and there is no single party. Includes monarchs who enter by plebiscite or election by legislature
4 if selected by a constitutionally empowered body but not according to the rules of succession (say the first vice-president is skipped in favor of second vice-president).
Note: If there are more than two chief executives during a particular year,
the information about all but the one serving as of December 31 is lost.
This also implies that the mode of entry can equal 3 even if there are coups
during the particular year. What is coded here is entry of a person to/from
a particular office. Hence, if the title of the chief executive changed
during a particular year, say from prime minister to president, an entry to
the new position will be recorded even if the person remains the same
heads=1). Note that it is possible that
mentry is recorded: this occurs when an office is newly created or if
it was not occupied during some period.
Mode of exit of the first head who exited during a particular
year. Coded only for years in which an exit occurred (
heads>1 or if
heads=1 and the position was abolished or was not occupied as of the
end of the year).
0 if by force (includes any replacement of a military chief executive by another military, unless the succession occurred according to pre-established rules, as well as assassinations, regardless of their motives),
1 if deposed by a foreign power (indicated by the presence of foreign military force on the territory; does not include clandestine actions, foreign sponsored coups, foreign pressures, and the like),
2 if removed by some not popularly elected body (e.g., single ruling party),
3 if lost an election or subject to term limits or lost confidence or resigned for any reasons, followed by a constitutional successor, or other good reasons, including peaceful transitions to democracy and removal by a monarch as long as the legislature is open and there is no single party,
4 if removed by a constitutionally empowered body but not according to rules,
-1 if died in office (and it is not generally known that the incumbent was assassinated).
Note: If there are more than two chief executives during a particular year,
the information about all but the one serving as of January 1 is lost. This
also implies that the mode of exit can equal 3 even if there are coups
during the particular year. Note that it is possible that
mexit is recorded: this occurs when an office is abolished or becomes
mexit: Direct information about entry
and exit is often difficult to obtain for prime ministers. Because
constitutional changes of prime ministers are routine events, they do not
attract attention of historians. Non-constitutional changes, however,
whether prime ministers being removed by coups or by dissolutions of the
parliament by monarchs, are typically mentioned by historians. In the cases
where such information is not provided by historical sources, we assume that
the entry and the exit were constitutional.
Number of years in a period during which elections were
held regularly without being interrupted by any of the following: (1) a coup
or an autocoup, (2) an unconstitutional usurpation of the office of the
chief executive (
const_inforce=0), (3) an occupation by a foreign
occupied=1). Elections are considered to be held regularly if
the period between two successive elections does not exceed the term in
office plus one year, except for war periods during which elections were
postponed. At least two consecutive elections must occur for electoral age
to be counted (the first
term must be completed and the subsequent
election must take place, even if it is immediately followed by an
electoral_age is coded as missing if these conditions
are not satisfied, that is, during periods in which no electoral periods
satisfy the above conditions.
Number of years in a period during which elections were
held regularly without being interrupted with some modicum of the opposition
opposition=1). Coded as missing if
electoral_age is missing
electoral_age is not missing but
opposition=0. Counted from
the election after which the person who won the first pluralistic election
completed a full term and opposition was not suppressed during this term.
Maximum years as a republic. (Constructed?)
Year in which an election is scheduled where the office of chief executive is at stake. (Constructed? Not documented in codebook).
For a year where an election happens where the chief
executive is at stake (
salt_elections > 0), the number of successful
coups before the election in that year. (Constructed? Not documented in
For a year where an election happens where the chief
executive is at stake (
salt_elections > 0), the number of successful
coups after the election in that year. (Constructed? Not documented in
Duration in office of chief executive? Not documented in codebook.
Year of first election? Not documented in codebook.
Note - the instructions in the original codebook for calculating these variables are not always clear. Errors may have resulted.
Whether the country is a republic during the year.
republic_age is not missing). Calculated from
Identifier for periods of republican and non-republican rule in a given country. Increases with each change between republic and non-republic.
Cumulative number of strong alternations in a republican
period. Calculated from
Cumulative years in which a term is completed. Calculated
from the cumulative sum of
term for each
Whether the country is a democracy according to the
formula: elections are held regularly without being interrupted, with some
modicum of the opposition (
republic_age is not missing), following an
alternation in office (
salterel=1) after which the winner completed a
full term. Includes periods before independence.
Whether the country is a democracy according to the
formula: elections are held regularly without being interrupted, with some
modicum of the opposition (
republic_age is not missing), following an
alternation in office (
salterel=1) after which the winner completed a
full term. Does not include periods before independence.
Number of years of democracy2.
Identifier for periods of full democracy
democracy2 = TRUE) and non-democracy in a given country. Increases
by 1 with each change in
This variable is coded only for years following independence. It is missing before independence even if the variables on the bases of which it is created are not missing.
electoral_age is missing. There are two distinct reasons why it
may be missing: either elections are not held regularly or they are held but
the winner does not complete a term in office or makes an autocoup.
Elections are considered not to be held if (1) there is a constitution that
specifies the length of term of the chief executive (or the legislature) and
this period is exceeded by more than one year, except for war years, (2)
there is no constitution or the constitution does not provide for elections
and no elections are held during this period.
electoral_age is not missing and
republic_age is missing). These are regimes in which elections are
held regularly and the winners (or their constitutional successors) complete
electoral terms but either elections are uncontested or there is one party
and independents or parties are banned and everyone runs as independent.
Note that if everyone runs as independents it is possible for the incumbent
government to lose an election, as in Swaziland in 1993. It is also possible
for the incumbent to lose if the regime had no opposition up to some time
when a competitive election occurred but the winner did not complete a term,
as in Honduras in 1852. Finally, incumbents can lose when
the election was competitive but at the end of the year the opposition was
suppressed, as in Panama in 1968.
republic_age is not missing, that is if
not missing and
democracy_age is not missing.
Identifier for regime periods in a given country.
Increases by 1 with each change in
The unit of observation is a sequence of events following an election in which the office of the chief executive is at stake. An event is an election and the subsequent occupancies of the chief executive office by different persons. These events are coded as answers to questions formulated below. The general syntax of coding consists of answers to who? and did (s)he?, separated by commas. For example, suppose an incumbent, who originally came into office by force, presented himself in the election, won, assumed and stayed in office for four years. This sequence of events is coded as FPY, IY, 4: FPY is a result of the election, IY records that the incumbent assumed office, and 4 that he stayed that many years.
Note that only events following the elections are coded, with the exception of the manner in which the current incumbent arrived in office. The first three digits summarize information about the election. They are recorded under the variable called result.
The first digit answers the question How did the incumbent come into office?
Note: The variable coding who is the chief executive is
The incumbent is the ruler at the moment when the election occurs. It makes
no difference how the current ruler assumed office: if there is an elected
chief executive, he is overthrown, and the general who overthrows calls an
election, the general is the incumbent. There are cases in which the
constitution requires the incumbent ruler to resign some short time before
the election and an institutionally designated person (say, chief justice)
administers the election. In such cases and only in such cases the incumbent
is the outgoing chief executive. If this is first election after
independence and the colony was run by a governor general (or equivalent)
without local prime minister, there is no incumbent. The monarch, even if
(s)he is the nominal chief executive is not considered the incumbent unless
(s)he occupies the office of the prime minister. The incumbent is the head
of the government.
Answers to the first question are coded as:
F By overthrowing someone else (If the incumbent originally came into power by force but then had himself elected, he is elected. Plebiscites, however, do not count as elections.)
A Appointed by a non-elected body (If the king appoints a PM in the absence of parliament or some junta takes over and appoints someone, not necessarily one of its members, the chief executive)
E Elected (An incumbent who is a constitutional successor of an elected incumbent, say vice-president who assumes office upon the death of the president, inherits his status.)
T A non-partisan or caretaker incumbent appointed by an elected body (parliament, sometimes party leaders)
0 (zero) There was no incumbent.
The second digit answers the question, Did the incumbent run in the election? Coded as follows:
P if the incumbent person run (distinguished systematically only under presidentialism)
S if a successor run
N if the incumbent person did not run and there was no successor or if there was no incumbent (Includes cases coded as T in the first digit). Note: Successor is coded differently under presidentialism and parliamentarism. Under presidentialism, S is a different member of the same party or a candidate designated by the incumbent government. Under parliamentarism, as long as the party of the incumbent is present in the election it is always coded as S.
The final (third) digit answers the question Did the incumbent/successor win? The answers to this question can be Y yes N no ? cannot be determined
Note: If the challenger cannot form a government and the incumbent remains in office, then the incumbent won.
Some examples: TN,: the incumbent was a non-partisan caretaker, who did not run in the election. FPY: the incumbent came to office by force, ran in the election, and won. Note again that if someone who originally came into office by force had been elected once, he becomes an elected incumbent. Hence, F applies only to the first election after a coup. ESN: either a successor of a president (but not the incumbent president himself) or the party of the prime minister ran in the election and lost. ES?: either a successor of a president (but not the incumbent president himself) or the party of the prime minister ran in the election and it is not clear who won (no presidential candidate won a majority, which is required by the constitution, or no party won a majority of seats necessary to form the government).
The variable called sequence consists of the result, followed by answers to the following pairs of questions, pairs separated by commas, with as many pairs as necessary, and a one-digit field indicating how long the last chief executive remained in office. The full syntax is thus: How did the incumbent get in? Did he run? (If he ran, did he win?), Who assumed office? Did he stay in power?, ... (as many times as necessary), How long? Who assumed office? In principle, everyone who assumed the office of the chief executive after an election, regardless for how long, is recorded, with the exception of constitutionally required caretakers. The answers to this question can be:
I incumbent (the person who was the incumbent at the moment of the election)
W a winner of the election (other than the incumbent person)
L a loser of the election who entered by force (or other non-constitutional means)
R a loser of the election who entered by constitutional means (this typically occurred when the king appointed a member of the losing party and the parliament was in session and did not or could not vote non-confidence)
M military (If they take power directly. If the king appoints or a parliament elects a military officer, they are not military here.)
A if a non-elected power (king, military, one party) imposes someone who is neither a winner or a loser (non-party, technical, caretaker. For example, King Boris of Bulgaria appointed a Russian general who was not a party member).
T if an elected power (parliament, party leaders, indirectly elected president) selects someone who is neither a winner or a loser (non-party, technical, caretaker. For example, the President of the Bolivian Senate was appointed by the Congress as caretaker when no one could muster majority required by the constitution.)
C if an institutional actor came in by force or by otherwise violating constitutional rules (For example, President Kasavubu removed PM Lumumba or the king assumed power by a coup).
? cannot tell
Notes: The incumbent person remains I in the entire sequence that follows. Other members of his party are W if the incumbent's party won, L or R if it lost. Suppose the incumbent party lost, the king appointed a member of the incumbent party, then appointed the original incumbent until the next election. The sequence would be ESN,RN,IY,E Party splits are ignored. If there was an interim constitutional occupant between the election and inauguration, he is coded as T. For example, the sequence in which the incumbent did not run, an interim person took over, and then the winner assumed would be EN,TN,W. . .
The answer to the question Did he/she stay in power? can be: Y yes N no
Note: The answer entails a stopping rule. The sequence of events is considered to be completed if the current occupant survived in power at least one year and neither the incumbent, nor the winner, nor the loser returned to office before the next election or if the current occupant lasted less than one year but until the next election. Prime ministers of the same party and constitutional successors of elected presidents are considered here to be the same persons as their predecessors: if a president dies within a year and he is followed by the vice-president, constitutionally designated to take over, and if the total tenure of the two is at least one year, then the answer is Y. If the president is overthrown by force, however, then the answer concerning him is N and the vice-president, even if he is a constitutionally designated, is treated as a new occupant of office. Hence, "not return" means here that neither the original incumbent nor anyone who occupied office in the aftermath of the election returned to office before the next election.
If the answer is Y the last digit answers the question How long?, with two possible answers: Length of time, measured in full years if the current ruler did not last until the next election (but at least one full year) or if the next election did not take place within one year of the scheduled date and the current ruler lasted until the scheduled date. For example, if the next scheduled election was supposed to take place within 5 years and the first person who survived in office at least one year after the current election was deposed 3 years later, the answer is "3". In turn, if the next election did not occur until 12 years later and the first person who lasted one year survived the 5 years, the answer is "12," even if this person was deposed 7 years after assuming office. "E" if the current ruler lasted until the next election. If the answer is N coding continues, repeating answers to both questions as long as necessary. If there is more than one election during the same year, each election is coded as above with the sign j separating the elections. For example, if an elected incumbent run, won, lasted until the new election the same year, run again, and lost, the sequence is coded as ESY,IY,EjESN,WY,E.
Caveats are many and some are consequential.
In principle, the data should cover all elections that selected chief executives in all countries that existed at any time after 1917, including periods before independence. There are good reasons to suspect that not all such elections are included: the historical record is simply absent for some countries during the early periods. The bias of inclusion is against early elections, particularly those in dependent territories.
The elections that are coded are intended to be those which potentially determine the selection of the chief executive. Chief executives are presidents, directly or indirectly elected, who are heads of governments and cannot be dismissed by the legislature while in good conduct or prime ministers whenever governments serve at the discretion of the legislature. In systems in which presidents and prime ministers share executive prerogatives and prime ministers can be removed by the legislature, chief executives are prime ministers. Note that if a country changed from parliamentary to presidential system (or vice versa, which is less frequent), the incumbent is the occupant of the previous office. In terms of government formation, parliamentarism is a much more complex system than presidentialism. Tracing the individual prime ministers is often unfeasible. Hence, sequences are more accurate under presidentialism than under parliamentarism. A sequence ESY,WY,E under presidentialism states exactly that the incumbent person was not a candidate, that a successor of this person won the election, assumed office, and served until the next election. The same sequence under parliamentarism, however, may only indicate that the incumbent party run and won the election and one or more of its members (but not the incumbent prime minister) held office until the next election. To put it differently, a sequence ESY,WN,WN,WY,3 under presidentialism may be coded as only ESY,WY,3 under parliamentarism. Note that if the person who occupied office immediately after the election was the outgoing incumbent, these sequences would be coded respectively as EPY,IN,WN,WY,3 under presidentialism and as ESY,IN,WY,E under parliamentarism (even if WY may stand here for several prime ministers from the same party).
Some elections constitute truly convoluted events and the exact sequence of events is often difficult to identify. Different historical sources frequently ignore different details, so that codes based on particular sources could be different. Moreover, the information is sometimes inconsistent, so that making sense of it is not always possible. One must suspect, therefore, that the coding contains errors.
Unrest variable from Banks?
Dummy variable for Europe?
Per capita GDP, probably from Maddison?
GDP in 2010, in thousands of dollars? Probably from Maddison.
Population in 2010, in thousands? A number of population variables are mentioned in the codebook but not found in the dataset:
POP_C Population, current borders, in thousands. These data incorporate variations in population due to changes in geographical boundaries. It was constructed from COW2, Maddison, and GFD.
POP_C_FILL Based on POP_C but linearily interpolated whenever data were missing, except for war years.
POP20 Population 20 or over (in thousands). Calculated from Mitchell (2003)
FPOP20 Female population 20 or over (in thousands). Calculated from Mitchell (2003) MPOP20 Male population over 20 or over (in thousands). Calculated from Mitchell (2003)
PROPPOP20 Population 20 or over as a proportion of total population.
PROPFPOP20 Females 20 or over as a proportion of total population.
PROPMPOP20 Males 20 or over as a proportion of total population.
Growth rate, from Maddison? Undocumented in codebook.
Is the country embroiled in a civil war? (Undocumented, perhaps from COW?)
Side A in war. Undocumented.
Side B in war. Undocumented.
War name. Undocumented.
The name of the country in the Gleditsch-Ward system of states, or the official name of the entity (for non-sovereign entities and states not in the Gleditsch and Ward system of states) or else a common name for disputed cases that do not have an official name (e.g., Western Sahara, Hyderabad). The Gleditsch and Ward scheme sometimes indicates the common name of the country and (in parentheses) the name of an earlier incarnation of the state: thus, they have Germany (Prussia), Russia (Soviet Union), Madagascar (Malagasy), etc. For details, see Gleditsch, Kristian S. & Michael D. Ward. 1999. "Interstate System Membership: A Revised List of the Independent States since 1816." International Interactions 25: 393-413. The list can be found at http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~ksg/statelist.html.
Gleditsch and Ward's numeric country code, from the Gleditsch and Ward list of independent states.
The Correlates of War numeric country code, 2016 version. This differs from Gleditsch and Ward's numeric country code in a few cases. See http://www.correlatesofwar.org/data-sets/state-system-membership for the full list.
Whether the state is "in system" (that is, is
independent and sovereign), according to Gleditsch and Ward, for this
particular date. Matches at the end of the year; so, for example South
Vietnam 1975 is
FALSE because, according to Gleditsch and Ward, the
country ended on April 1975 (being absorbed by North Vietnam). It is also
TRUE for dates beyond 2012 for countries that did not end by then, depsite
the fact that the Gleditsch and Ward list has not been updated since.
Caramani, Daniele. 2000. Elections in Western Europe since 1815: electoral results by constituencies. London: Macmillan. CD-ROM.
Elections Canada On-Line, http://www.elections.ca
Federal Election Commission, http://www.fec.gov (USA) Historical Statistics of the United States. Colonial times to 1957. Washington, DC: US Department of Commerce. Series Y 146-149.
Lambert, J. Amerique Latine, Presses Universitaires de France, 1968: 21-24.
Mitchell, B. R. 2003. International Historical Statistics: The Americas, 17502000. Fifth edition. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Mitchell, B. R. 2003. International Historical Statistics: Europe, 1750-2000. Fifth edition. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Mitchell, B. R. 2003. International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia and Oceania, 1750-2000. Fourth edition. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Nohlen, Dieter (ed.). 2005. Elections in the Americas. A data handbook, volume 1: North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. New York: Oxford University Press.
Nohlen, Dieter. Enciclopedia Electoral Latinoamericana y del Caribe, Instituto Americano de Derechos Humanos, Costa Rica: San Jose, 1993.
Nohlen, Dieter, Michael Krennerich, and Bernhard Thibaut (eds.). 1999. Elections in Africa: a data handbook. New York: Oxford University Press. Nohlen, Dieter, Florian Grotz, and Christof Hartmann (eds.). 2001. Elections in Asia and the Pacific: a data handbook. New York: Oxford University Press.
Nohlen, Dieter (editor). 2005. Elections in the Americas: A Data Handbook Volume 1: North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. New York: Oxford University Press.
Vanhanen, Tatu. The Polyarchy Dataset, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. http://www.svt.ntnu.no/iss/data/vanhanen
Historical Statistics Of The United States. Colonial Times To 1970. Washington, Dc: Us Department Of Commerce. Series Y 135-186.
Sources for additional data available on request.
Global Financial Data
The Correlates of War Project
Maddison, A. 2003. The World Economy: Historical Statistics, OECD Development Centre.