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Democracy, History, and Economic Performance: A Case-Study Approach

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  • Gerring, John
  • Kingstone, Peter
  • Lange, Matthew
  • Sinha, Aseema
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    Abstract

    Crossnational statistical studies show a positive relationship between the length of time a country has been democratic and its economic performance. Old democracies grow faster, ceteris paribus, and also demonstrate advantages in some economic policies thought to be conducive to growth. However, the causal connections between regime history and economic policy and performance remain opaque. Arguments are highly speculative, for the causal pathways are usually difficult to measure and are not readily testable in a large-N cross-country format. In order to illuminate possible interconnections between regime history and economic performance we identify three countries in the developing world whose recent history may be regarded as illustrative: Brazil, India, and Mauritius. Our analysis of these cases focuses on the achievement of policy consensus and policy reform, both of which are commonly regarded as critical to economic performance. Intensive study of our chosen cases suggests multiple mechanisms by which democratic experience might translate into greater success on these policy dimensions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 10 ()
    Pages: 1735-1748

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:10:p:1735-1748

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

    Related research

    Keywords: democracy; economic policy; growth; development; case study; Brazil; India; Mauritius;

    References

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    1. Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman & Reis Soares, Rodrigo, 2001. "Accountability and corruption : political institutions matter," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2708, The World Bank.
    2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 88-126, July.
    3. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do democracies have different public policies than non-democracies?," Discussion Papers 0304-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
    4. Hristos Doucouliagos & Mehmet Ulubasoglu, 2006. "Democracy and Economic Growth: A Meta-Analysis," Economics Series 2006_04, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
    5. World Bank, 2005. "World Development Indicators 2005," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12426, October.
    6. Sinha Aseema, 2005. "Understanding the Rise and Transformation of Business Collective Action in India," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-37, August.
    7. Kohli, Atul, 1989. "Politics of economic liberalization in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 305-328, March.
    8. Bhagwati, Jagdish, 1993. "India in Transition: Freeing the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288473, September.
    9. Armijo, Leslie Elliott, 2005. "Mass democracy: The real reason that Brazil ended inflation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2013-2027, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Halleröd, Björn & Rothstein, Bo & Daoud, Adel & Nandy, Shailen, 2013. "Bad Governance and Poor Children: A Comparative Analysis of Government Efficiency and Severe Child Deprivation in 68 Low- and Middle-income Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 19-31.
    2. Lawrence Sáez, 2013. "Methods in governance research: a review of research approaches," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series esid-017-13, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    3. Kerstin Nolte & Susanne Vaeth, 2013. "Interplay of Land Governance and Large-Scale Agricultural Investment: Evidence from Ghana and Kenya," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201350, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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