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Political Institutions and Human Development Does Democracy Fulfill its 'Constructive' and 'Instrumental' Role?

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Author Info

  • Vollmer, Sebastian

    ()
    (University of GAottingen)

  • Ziegler, Maria

    ()
    (University of GAottingen)

Abstract

Institutions are a major field of interest in the study of development processes. The authors contribute to this discussion concentrating our research on political institutions and their effect on the non-income dimensions of human development. First, they elaborate a theoretical argument why and under what conditions democracies compared to autocratic political systems might perform better with regards to the provision of public goods. Due to higher redistributive concerns matched to the needs of the population democracies should show a higher level of human development. In the following they analyze whether our theoretical expectations are supported by empirical facts. The authors perform a static panel analysis over the period of 1970 to 2003. The model confirms that living in a democratic system positively affects human development measured by life expectancy and literacy rates even controlling for GDP. By analyzing interaction effects they find that the performance of democracy is rather independent of the circumstances. However, democracy leads to more redistribution in favor of health provision in more unequal societies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4818.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4818

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Related research

Keywords: human development; democracy; political institutions; life expectancy; literacy; panel analysis;

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Citations

Blog mentions

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  1. Democracy and public good provision
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-02-24 12:07:00
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Cited by:
  1. Dash, Bharatee Bhushan & Mukherjee, Sacchidananda, 2013. "Does Political Competition Influence Human Development? Evidence from the Indian States," Working Papers 13/118, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

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