Discussion Paper Series, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy, Universität Würzburg 130
We present a novel approach for measuring democracy, which enables a very detailed and sensitive index. This method is based on Support Vector Machines, a mathematical algorithm for pattern recognition. Our implementation evaluates 188 countries in the period between 1981 and 2011. The Support Vector Machines Democracy Index (SVMDI) is continuously on the 0-1-Interval and robust to variations in the numerical process parameters. The algorithm introduced here can be used for every concept of democracy without additional adjustments, and due to its exibility it is also a valuable tool for comparison studies.