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

Author

Listed:
  • Gerring, John
  • Kingstone, Peter
  • Lange, Matthew
  • Sinha, Aseema

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerring, John & Kingstone, Peter & Lange, Matthew & Sinha, Aseema, 2011. "Democracy, History, and Economic Performance: A Case-Study Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1735-1748.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:10:p:1735-1748
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.04.029
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Montinola, Gabriella R. & Jackman, Robert W., 2002. "Sources of Corruption: A Cross-Country Study," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 147-170, January.
    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. 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.
    4. Daniel Lederman & Norman V. Loayza & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Accountability And Corruption: Political Institutions Matter," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 1-35, March.
    5. Sinha, Aseema, 2005. "Understanding the Rise and Transformation of Business Collective Action in India," Business and Politics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 1-35, August.
    6. World Bank, 2005. "World Development Indicators 2005," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12426.
    7. Bhagwati, Jagdish, 1993. "India in Transition: Freeing the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288473.
    8. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12425 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 51-74, Winter.
    10. Kohli, Atul, 1989. "Politics of economic liberalization in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 305-328, March.
    11. 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. Emara, Noha & Chiu, I-Ming, 2015. "The Impact of Governance on Economic Growth: The case of Middle Eastern and North African Countries," MPRA Paper 68603, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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.
    3. Judit Ricz, 2015. "Towards a new model of state-led development in Brazil (?)," IWE Working Papers 215, Institute for World Economics - Centre for Economic and Regional Studies- Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    4. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:52-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:121-:d:125733 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lawrence Sáez, 2013. "Methods in governance research: a review of research approaches," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series esid-017-13, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    7. Gisselquist, Rachel M., 2012. "Good Governance as a Concept, and Why This Matters for Development Policy," WIDER Working Paper Series 030, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. 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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