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Democracy, Rent Seeking, Public Spending And Growth

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  • Mohtadi, Hamid
  • Roe, Terry L.

Abstract

Does democratization imply faster growth, less corruption and less inefficiency? Past studies yield ambiguous results on the effects of democracy on economic performance and growth. We develop a simple two-sector endogenous growth model that shows both very young and mature democracies grow faster than countries in mid stages of democratization, producing a 'U' effect. This effect results from the pattern of rent seeking as it diverts from the provision of public goods. Rent-seekers act as monopolistic competitors. Initially, more democracy increases their number, raising aggregate rents. However, rents per rent-seeker fall with the number of rent seekers, aggregate rents fall in mature democracies. Thus, rents show an 'inverted-U' effects in relation to democracy. We find fairly robust supportive evidence for the latter.

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Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center in its series Bulletins with number 12981.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umedbu:12981

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Keywords: Political Economy;

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  1. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S103-26, October.
  3. Isaac Ehrlich & Francis T. Lui, 1999. "Bureaucratic Corruption and Endogenous Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S270-S293, December.
  4. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Grier, Kevin B. & Tullock, Gordon, 1989. "An empirical analysis of cross-national economic growth, 1951-1980," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 259-276, September.
  6. Rama, Martin, 1993. "Rent seeking and economic growth : A theoretical model and some empirical evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 35-50, October.
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  8. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "Democratization or Repression?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2278, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  14. Landau, Daniel, 1986. "Government and Economic Growth in the Less Developed Countries: An Empirical Study for 1960-1980," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 35-75, October.
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  16. Weede, Erich, 1983. "The Impact of Democracy on Economic Growth: Some Evidence from Cross-National Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1), pages 21-39.
  17. John F. Helliwell, 1992. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
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