IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/pubcho/v155y2013i1p163-187.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do pro-market economic reforms drive human rights violations? An empirical assessment, 1981–2006

Author

Listed:
  • Indra Soysa

    ()

  • Krishna Vadlammanati

    ()

Abstract

Liberals argue that economic policy reforms will benefit most in terms of better access to goods, less inflation and better economic opportunities. Critics of market reforms, among them Marxists, critical theorists, skeptics of globalization as well as a large portion of the NGO community, see the majority as losers from such reform, expecting resistance that would lead to political repression. They suggest that free-market policy reforms are analogous to “swallowing the bitter pill.” We make use of the change in the Index of Economic Freedom as a measure of market liberalizing reforms, employing data from a panel of 117 countries for the period from 1981–2006. Our results show a strong positive association between reforms towards more free markets with regard to governments’ respect for human rights, controlling for a host of relevant factors, including the possibility of endogeneity. The results are robust in relation to sample size, alternative data and methods, and a sample of only developing countries; and they are substantively quite large. Our results support those who argue that freer markets generate better economic conditions and higher levels of social harmony and peace, and it seems as if getting there is less problematic than people generally think—in fact, halfhearted measures and backsliding that prolong crises could be more dangerous to human rights. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Indra Soysa & Krishna Vadlammanati, 2013. "Do pro-market economic reforms drive human rights violations? An empirical assessment, 1981–2006," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 163-187, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:155:y:2013:i:1:p:163-187
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-011-9847-2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-011-9847-2
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Axel Dreher & Lars-H. Siemers, 2009. "The nexus between corruption and capital account restrictions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 245-265, July.
    2. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
    3. Dawson, John W., 2003. "Causality in the freedom-growth relationship," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 479-495, September.
    4. Eric Neumayer, 2006. "Do international human rights treaties improve respect for human rights?," Conferences on New Political Economy,in: Max Albert & Stefan Voigt & Dieter Schmidtchen (ed.), Conferences on New Political Economy, edition 1, volume 23, pages 69-104(36 Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
    5. Barry Eichengreen & David Leblang, 2008. "Democracy And Globalization," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 289-334, November.
    6. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    7. Carlsson, Fredrik & Lundstrom, Susanna, 2002. "Economic Freedom and Growth: Decomposing the Effects," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(3-4), pages 335-344, September.
    8. Jakob De Haan & Susanna Lundström & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2006. "Market-oriented institutions and policies and economic growth: A critical survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 157-191, April.
    9. Boockmann, Bernhard & Dreher, Axel, 2003. "The contribution of the IMF and the World Bank to economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 633-649, September.
    10. Wilson, Sven E. & Butler, Daniel M., 2007. "A Lot More to Do: The Sensitivity of Time-Series Cross-Section Analyses to Simple Alternative Specifications," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 101-123, March.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    13. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2000. "On the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 215-241, June.
    14. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    15. Axel Dreher & Martin Gassebner & Lars-H.R. Siemers, 2007. "Does Terror Threaten Human Rights? Evidence from Panel Data," KOF Working papers 07-156, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    16. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    17. Leamer, Edward E, 1983. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 31-43, March.
    18. Ross, Michael L., 2004. "How Do Natural Resources Influence Civil War? Evidence from Thirteen Cases," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 35-67, February.
    19. Abouharb,M. Rodwan & Cingranelli,David, 2007. "Human Rights and Structural Adjustment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521676717, October.
    20. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    21. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
    22. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
    23. James D. Gwartney & Robert A. Lawson & Randall G. Holcombe, 1999. "Economic Freedom and the Environment for Economic Growth," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(4), pages 643-643, December.
    24. Dreher, Axel & Lamla, Michael J. & Lein, Sarah M. & Somogyi, Frank, 2009. "The impact of political leaders' profession and education on reforms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 169-193, March.
    25. M. Abouharb & David Cingranelli, 2009. "IMF programs and human rights, 1981–2003," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 47-72, March.
    26. Seth W. Norton, 2003. "Economic Institutions and Human Well-Being: A Cross-National Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 23-40, Winter.
    27. Dawson, John W, 1998. "Institutions, Investment, and Growth: New Cross-Country and Panel Data Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 603-619, October.
    28. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-183, May.
    29. Justesen, Mogens K., 2008. "The effect of economic freedom on growth revisited: New evidence on causality from a panel of countries 1970-1999," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 642-660, September.
    30. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938, October.
    31. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-438, July.
    32. Berggren, Niclas, 2003. "The Benefits of Economic Freedom: A Survey," Ratio Working Papers 4, The Ratio Institute.
    33. Doucouliagos, Chris & Ulubasoglu, Mehmet Ali, 2006. "Economic freedom and economic growth: Does specification make a difference?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 60-81, March.
    34. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
    35. Christian Bjørnskov & Nicolai Foss, 2008. "Economic freedom and entrepreneurial activity: Some cross-country evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 307-328, March.
    36. Bernhard Boockmann & Axel Dreher, 2011. "Do human rights offenders oppose human rights resolutions in the United Nations?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 443-467, March.
    37. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
    38. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 2004. "In Defense of Globalization: It Has a Human Face," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(6), pages 9-20, November-.
    39. Abouharb,M. Rodwan & Cingranelli,David, 2007. "Human Rights and Structural Adjustment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521859332, October.
    40. Indra de Soysa (NTNU), 2011. "Another Misadventure of Economists in the Tropics? Social Diversity, Cohesion, and Economic Development," International Area Studies Review, Center for International Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 3-30, March.
    41. Scully, Gerald W, 2002. "Economic Freedom, Government Policy and the Trade-Off between Equity and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 77-96, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2015. "Does economic freedom really kill? On the association between ‘Neoliberal’ policies and homicide rates," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 207-219.
    2. Blau, Benjamin M. & Brough, Tyler J. & Thomas, Diana W., 2014. "Economic freedom and the stability of stock prices: A cross-country analysis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 182-196.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:155:y:2013:i:1:p:163-187. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.