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Democracy and Development: Cruel Dilemma or Symbiotic Relationship

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  • Bhagwati, Jagdish N

Abstract

The paper dissects the hypothesis that democracy is inimical to economic development. The historical origin of this perspective is presented and its key theoretical and empirical assumptions are examined and assessed. The chief conclusion is that there is no necessary tradeoff between democracy and development. When compared to authoritarian regimes, democracy is more likely to foster an environment that facilitates the innovative and entrepreneurial process so essential for sustained development. On the other hand, democracy is better for development only when accompanied by an expansion of markets and competition. Democracy without markets is unlikely to deliver significant growth. In this context, liberalized international trade can act in a productive symbiosis with democratic institutions to promote development by facilitating bilateral flows of ideas, knowledge, goods, services, and technology. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Suggested Citation

  • Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 2002. "Democracy and Development: Cruel Dilemma or Symbiotic Relationship," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(2), pages 151-162, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:6:y:2002:i:2:p:151-62
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gonçalves Junior, Oswaldo & Braga Martes, Ana Cristina, 2015. "Democracy, markets and rural development: The case of small goat-milk farmers in the Brazilian northeast," economic sociology_the european electronic newsletter, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, vol. 16(3), pages 25-33.
    2. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:2:p:325-343 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mihai Mutascu & Anne-Marie Fleischer, 2011. "A Logit Analysis Of Development And Democracy. The Romania’S Case," Analele Stiintifice ale Universitatii "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" din Iasi - Stiinte Economice, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 2011, pages 173-182, july.
    4. Eduardo Sanz-Arcega, 2013. "The Nonexistence of the cruel dilemma or the unlikely prosperity of the economic system of freedom in the absence of it," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1308, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
    5. Kanybek Nur-tegin, 2014. "Entrenched Autocracy or New Democracy: Which Is Better for Business?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 398-419, August.
    6. Jessica Henson Decker & Jamus Jerome Lim, 2008. "What fundamentally drives growth? Revisiting the institutions and economic performance debate," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(5), pages 698-725.
    7. Tang, Sam Hak Kan & Yung, Linda Chor Wing, 2008. "Does rapid economic growth enhance democratization? Time-series evidence from high performing Asian economies," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 244-253, June.
    8. Robert Neumann & Peter Graeff, 2010. "A Multitrait-Multimethod approach to pinpoint the validity of aggregated governance indicators," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 44(5), pages 849-864, August.
    9. Jac C. Heckelman, 2010. "The Connection between Democratic Freedoms and Growth in Transition Economies," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(2), pages 121-146.
    10. Mireille Razafindrakoto & François Roubaud, 2005. "Les pauvres, la démocratie et le marché : une analyse à partir de trois séries d'enquêtes auprès de la population malgache," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 13(1), pages 53-89.

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