Nations, Development, and Democracy, 1800-2005 (ICPSR 20440)

Version Date: Dec 13, 2007 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Barbara Wejnert, University at Buffalo-SUNY

Version V1

To serve the scholarly community's growing interest in the process of democratization in the world over the past 200 years, this data collection consists of a compiled database that assesses 187 (20 historical and 167 contemporary) sovereign countries from 1800-2005. The database was constructed by merging variables derived from these existing datasets: (1) POLITY III: REGIME TYPE AND POLITICAL AUTHORITY 1800-1994 (Jagger and Gurr 1995) [ICPSR 6695], (2) CROSS-NATIONAL TIME SERIES, 1815-1973 (Banks 1993) [ICPSR 7412], (3) Polity IV (Jagger and Gurr 2005), (4) Political Freedom Indicators (Freedom House 2000), (5) World Development Indicators 1960-1998 (World Bank 1999), and (6) World Development Indicators 1960-2005 (World Bank 2006). In addition, missing variables were coded from the Statesman's Yearbook (2000), the World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators (Taylor and Jodice 1983), Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Relations (Osmanczyk 1982), and the journal, "Freedom Review," published by Freedom House. A sovereign country was defined as an independent member of the international system, which had a population greater than 500,000. In the database, for each sovereign country there are over 120 indicators, annually recorded, that represent: (1) the level of democratic growth, (2) the countries' development depicted by socioeconomic, demographic, and geographical characteristics, and (3) diffusion indicators. In addition, to add precision to the measurement, modifications of the core indicators were also recorded. The database is complimented by an index of variables.

Wejnert, Barbara. Nations, Development, and Democracy, 1800-2005. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-12-13.

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1800 -- 2005
1998-09 -- 2007-06

(1) Blank value labels are considered missing. Exceptions involve the variables XRREG, XRCOMP, XCONST, PARREG, PARCOMP, AUTONOMY, FREPRESS, FRDEMNST, EQUALAW, FRCORRUP, and FRPERSON. These were weighted to compare the Freedom House and Jagger and Gurr's scales. These variables were reformated to match the data. (2) The following values are unknown: 0 in PREMIER, 0 in MONO, and .. in IT_TVS_C. (3) The data contain too many values to test the Stata setup file. Variables with several thousand values may need to have the values recoded into groups for testing.

All sovereign, historical, and contemporary countries in the world with populations greater than 500,000.

The 187 sovereign countries (20 historical and 167 contemporary) that were independent members of the international system and had populations greater than 500,000 from the years 1800 to 2005.

aggregate data


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Wejnert, Barbara. NATIONS, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMOCRACY, 1800-2005. ICPSR20440-v1. Buffalo, NY: Barbara Wejnert, University at Buffalo-SUNY [producer], 2007. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-12-13.

To complement and to test the derived data of Polity III and Polity IV and the World Bank and Banks data, data derived from two different sources on overlapping years were correlated. The obtained correlations' scores were above 0.9. The most complex was testing used to assess Polity III and Polity IV data. For testing of Polity data, the principal investigator rendered the Freedom House scale scores of democracy compatible with Jagger and Gurr's Polity III scale. Accordingly, the 13-point democracy scale used by Freedom House was modified to the 11-point scale used in Polity III. To assess the comparability of the Polity III data with the rescaled Freedom House indicator, the Freedom House indicators were derived for 161 countries for the years 1990-1994, and then correlated with the Polity index for the same years. The correlation was r = 0.97 (p less than 0.01). Each component was weighted 0-3 or 0-4 based on the presence of 2-7 variables per component, and a total democratization score was the sum of the five component weights. The comparability of Polity III with Freedom House data was assessed by correlating the two sets of data, and the obtained correlation score was above 0.90 (p less than 0.01).


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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