DRI Working Paper No. 39
By Alastair Smith, NYU and Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, NYU
Selling Out on the UN Security Council
Election to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) provides nations with an opportunity to trade policy support in exchange for aid and other forms of financial assistance. Nations elected to one of the ten temporary two year seats on the United Nations Security Council experience substantially lower economic growth during their time on the council than comparable nations not on the UNSC. Over the two year period of UNSC membership and the following two years, during which a nation is ineligible for reelection, UNSC nations experience a 3.5% contraction in their economy relative to nations not elected to the UNSC. Further, on average nations in the UNSC become less democratic and experience an increase in the level of restrictions on press freedom. The effects of UNSC membership on political and economic development are particularly strong in non-democratic states.