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Vanessa Alexandra Boese


Sprängkullsgatan 19
41123 Göteborg
Box 711
40530 Göteborg

Om Vanessa Alexandra Boese

Vanessa is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute at the University of Gothenburg. She obtained her PhD in economics summer 2019 at Humbolt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. Her thesis "Why Democracy Matters: An Economic Perspective" covers how to (not) measure democracy in quantitative studies; macro-economic models of trade, development, democracy and peace, as well as panel data methods.

Her research interests are: political economy, peace economics, conflict research, democratization, development economics Please find more information on her personal website: https://vanessaboese.weebly.com/


• How (not) to measure democracy, Boese, V. A.. International Area Studies Review, 2019: 22(2), 95–127. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2233865918815571

• 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy: on the construction of macro panel data in peace economics, with Katrin Kamin, Christian-Albrechts Universität Kiel. Economics of Peace and Security Journal, 2019: 14(1), 5-26. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15355/epsj.14.1.5

• Viva la Revolucion, or: Do Revolutions Lead to More Democracy? Boese, V. A. Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 2015: 21(4), 541-551. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2015-0027

Doctoral Thesis

Why Democracy Matters: An Economic Perspective: The current return to protectionist measures coinciding with a rise of illiberalism triggers the need for a more detailed understanding of the interactions of economic and political dimensions. This doctoral thesis consists of four articles advancing our understanding of the complex interactions between trade, democracy, development and conflict.

The first article (Boese 2015) asks: do revolutions lead to more democracy? The revolutionary conflicts examined are positively associated with a country's democratic path. In addition, the article introduces a new measure of democracy, the (X-)Pol Index.

The second article (Boese 2019) compares measure validity and reliability of Polity2, Freedom House and V-Dem democracy indices. The latter surpass the former in all relevant areas. The article provides an introduction to democracy measurement, a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each measure in empirical analyses and several case studies to illustrate differences across the three indices.

The third article (Boese & Kamin 2019) shows that in spite of standardization efforts the problem of inconsistent country coding across and within disciplines persists. This leads to sample selection bias as countries in conflict often undergo state name and border changes. In turn, reliability of inferences drawn from statistical analysis, in particular in conflict and peace economics, is limited. Detailed overview tables of the gravest country coding discrepancies are provided.

The fourth article (with K. Kamin, CAU Kiel) examines the interactions of democracy, development, trade and conflict. It employs a country-specific VAR to study the effects of shocks in any of the four factors on one another. Results show that these effects are vastly heterogenous across and within countries over time. The article received the Michael D. Intrilligator Best PhD Student Paper Award at the 23rd International Conference in Economics and Security in Madrid, Spain (June 2019).