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The Nonexistence of the cruel dilemma or the unlikely prosperity of the economic system of freedom in the absence of it

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  • Eduardo Sanz-Arcega

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    (University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)

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    Abstract

    The controversial relationship between the political system and economic growth induced Bhagwati to coin the concept of cruel dilemma to illustrate the tension that may exist between the economic freedoms and the political homonyms. Thus, and since then, the economic-institutional empirical literature has tried to outline the effect of democracy on the sustained increase in income, with disparate results. However, the very absence of an undisputed conclusion also from the perspective of the history of economic ideas has led, to the best of our knowledge, to the fact that the preference for a political system or another to achieve economic prosperity may turn into an axiologically based argument. This fact would, therefore, endorse the incorporation to the emphasis of the discussion of a double analysis, factual and theoretical-economic –owing to the classical postulates on which the central doctrinal body of the discipline is founded–, whose conjunction with the crucial importance of institutions for economic growth seemed to hide, ultimately, a simple idea. Namely: the indissolubility, on a long-term basis, between economic success and democracy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Asociación Española de Historia Económica in its series Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) with number 1308.

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    Length: 18
    Date of creation: Sep 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ahe:dtaehe:1308

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    Related research

    Keywords: Cruel dilemma; economic liberties; political liberties; democracy; institutions; economic growth;

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    1. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    2. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 2002. "Democracy and Development: Cruel Dilemma or Symbiotic Relationship," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(2), pages 151-62, June.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
    5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    6. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
    7. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Weingast, Barry R, 1995. "The Economic Role of Political Institutions: Market-Preserving Federalism and Economic Development," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, April.
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