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Dictatorship, Democracy, and the Provision of Public Goods

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  • Deacon, Robert

Abstract

A model of governance implies that democracies provide public goods at different levels than dictatorships. Systems of governance are characterized by inclusiveness—the degree to which public good decisions reflect the interests of all citizens versus an elite subset. The theory indicates that less inclusive (autocratic) governments will under-provide public consumption goods relative to more inclusive (democratic) governments. Governance indicators are formed from data on attributes of governments, e.g., the method of selecting the chief executive, the power of the legislature, and the openness of political competition. Autocratic governments are found to provide public schooling, roads, safe water, public sanitation, and pollution control at levels far below democracies. Public goods provision is strongly related to per capita income in democracies, but not in autocracies.

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  • Deacon, Robert, 2003. "Dictatorship, Democracy, and the Provision of Public Goods," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt9h54w76c, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt9h54w76c
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    Cited by:

    1. Renfu Luo & Linxiu Zhang & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle, 2010. "Village Elections, Public Goods Investments and Pork Barrel Politics, Chinese-style," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 662-684.
    2. Ahlborg, Helene & Boräng, Frida & Jagers, Sverker C. & Söderholm, Patrik, 2015. "Provision of electricity to African households: The importance of democracy and institutional quality," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 125-135.
    3. Richard Damania & Arnab Gupta, 2004. "Political Competition, Welfare Outcomes and Expenditures on Human Development: The Experience of a Democracy," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 147, Econometric Society.
    4. Shouro Dasgupta & Enrica De Cian, 2016. "Institutions and the Environment: Existing Evidence and Future Directions," Working Papers 2016.41, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Resnick, Danielle & Birner, Regina, 2006. "Does good governance contribute to pro-poor growth?: a review of the evidence from cross-country studies," DSGD discussion papers 30, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Bulte, Erwin H. & Damania, Richard & Deacon, Robert T., 2005. "Resource intensity, institutions, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1029-1044, July.
    7. Resnick, Danielle & Birner, Regina, 2005. "Does Good Governance Contribute to Pro-poor Growth?: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Evidence from Cross-Country Studies," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Kiel 2005 5, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.

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