IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cda/wpaper/64.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Voice and Growth: Was Churchill Right?

Author

Listed:
  • Peter Lindert

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

The debate over whether political democracy is the least bad regime, as Churchill once said, remains unresolved because history has been ignored or misread, and because recent statistical studies have not chosen the right tests. Using too little historical information, and mistaking formal democratic rules for true voice, has understated the gains from spreading political voice more equally. This paper draws on a deeper history, reinterpreting five key experiences to show how the institutional channels linking voice and growth are themselves evolving with the economy. Up to about the early nineteenth century, the key institutional link was property rights and contract enforcement. Since the early nineteenth century, the human-Investment channel has assumed an ever-greater role. This trend will probably continue. A telltale sign of damage to growth from elite rule is the under-investment of public funds in egalitarian human capital, especially primary schooling, relative to historical norms for successful economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Lindert, 2003. "Voice and Growth: Was Churchill Right?," Working Papers 64, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:64
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://repec.dss.ucdavis.edu/files/Ra7TN2exgUFSBMnyqN1jCCUT/02-6.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson, 1998. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," International Economic Association Series, in: Silvio Borner & Martin Paldam (ed.), The Political Dimension of Economic Growth, chapter 3, pages 38-73, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Robert A. Margo, 1990. "Race and Schooling in the South, 1880-1950: An Economic History," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number marg90-1, June.
    3. Robert A. Margo, 1990. "Race and Schooling in the South: A Review of the Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Race and Schooling in the South, 1880-1950: An Economic History, pages 6-32, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Engerman, Stanley L. & Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 2005. "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 891-921, December.
    5. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543.
    6. Helliwell, John F., 1994. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 225-248, April.
    7. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    8. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
    9. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
    10. De Long, J Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei, 1993. "Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 671-702, October.
    11. Clague, Christopher & Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen & Olson, Mancur, 1996. "Property and Contract Rights in Autocracies and Democracies," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 243-276, June.
    12. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross‐Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    13. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    14. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    15. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
    16. Goldin, Claudia, 2001. "The Human-Capital Century And American Leadership: Virtues Of The Past," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 263-292, June.
    17. Lanjouw, Peter & Stern, Nicholas, 1998. "Economic Development in Palanpur over Five Decades," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288329.
    18. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
    19. Easterlin, Richard A., 1981. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 1-17, March.
    20. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
    22. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1984. "Slavery and Supervision in Comparative Perspective: A Model," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 635-668, September.
    23. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 803-832, December.
    24. Clark, Gregory, 1988. "The cost of capital and medieval agricultural technique," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 265-294, July.
    25. Peter Lindert, 2004. "Social Spending and Economic Growth," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(4), pages 6-16.
    26. Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Pettersson, Jan, 2003. "Democracy, Consolidation and Growth," Research Papers in Economics 2002:16, Stockholm University, Department of Economics, revised 15 Dec 2004.
    2. Carl Henrik Knutsen, 2012. "Democracy and economic growth: A survey of arguments and results," International Area Studies Review, Center for International Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 393-415, December.
    3. Rok Spruk & Mitja Kovac, 2018. "Inefficient Growth," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 9(2).
    4. Siddiqui, Danish Ahmed & Ahmed, Qazi Masood, 2013. "The effect of institutions on economic growth: A global analysis based on GMM dynamic panel estimation," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 18-33.
    5. Alberto Chong & Luisa Zanforlin, 2004. "Inward-Looking Policies, Institutions, Autocrats, and Economic Growth in Latin America: An Empirical Exploration," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 335-361, February.
    6. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Khalid Sekkat, 2016. "A time to throw stones, a time to reap: How long does it take for democratic transitions to improve institutional outcomes?," Working Papers CEB 16-016, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Mogens Justesen & Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, 2013. "Institutional interactions and economic growth: the joint effects of property rights, veto players and democratic capital," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 449-474, December.
    8. Nobuhiro Mizuno & Katsuyuki Naito & Ryosuke Okazawa, 2017. "Inequality, extractive institutions, and growth in nondemocratic regimes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(1), pages 115-142, January.
    9. Mulligan Casey B & Gil Ricard & Sala-i-Martin Xavier X, 2010. "Social Security and Democracy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-46, March.
    10. Jian-Guang Shen, 2002. "Democracy and growth: An alternative empirical approach," Development and Comp Systems 0212002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472, Elsevier.
    12. Chor, Davin, 2005. "Institutions, wages, and inequality: The case of Europe and its periphery (1500-1899)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 547-566, October.
    13. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-293, March.
    14. Chen, Derek H. C. & Dahlman, Carl J., 2004. "Knowledge and development : a cross-section approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3366, The World Bank.
    15. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-668, September.
    16. Jian-Guang Shen, 2003. "Democracy and growth: An alternative empirical approach," Macroeconomics 0303008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Ashok Chakravarti, 2012. "Institutions, Economic Performance and the Visible Hand," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14751, June.
    18. Natkhov, T. & Polishchuk, L., 2017. "Political Economy of Institutions and Development: The Importance of Being Inclusive. Reflection on "Why Nations Fail" by D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson. Part I. Institutions and Economic Devel," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 12-38.
    19. Gradstein, Mark, 2005. "Democracy, Property Rights, Redistribution and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Shen, Jian-Guang, 2002. "Democracy and growth : An alternative empirical approach," BOFIT Discussion Papers 13/2002, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democracy and growth; political economy; economic history;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:cda:wpaper:64. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/educdus.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Letters and Science IT Services Unit (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/educdus.html .

    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.