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Democracy Does Cause Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Suresh Naidu
  • Pascual Restrepo
  • James A. Robinson

Abstract

We provide evidence that democracy has a positive effect on GDP per capita. Our dynamic panel strategy controls for country fixed effects and the rich dynamics of GDP, which otherwise confound the effect of democracy. To reduce measurement error, we introduce a new indicator of democracy that consolidates previous measures. Our baseline results show that democratizations increase GDP per capita by about 20 percent in the long run. We find similar effects using a propensity score reweighting strategy as well as an instrumental-variables strategy using regional waves of democratization. The effects are similar across different levels of development and appear to be driven by greater investments in capital, schooling, and health.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Suresh Naidu & Pascual Restrepo & James A. Robinson, 2019. "Democracy Does Cause Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(1), pages 47-100.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/700936
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    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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