The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance
Since the “third wave” of democratization began in 1974, nearly 100 states have adopted democratic forms of government, including, of course, most of the former Soviet bloc nations. Policy-makers in the west have expressed the hope that this democratic wave will extend even further, to the Middle East and onward to China. But the durability of this new democratic age remains an open question. By some accounts, at least half of the world’s young democracies—often referred to in the academic literature as being “unconsolidated” or “fragile”—are still struggling to develop their political institutions, and several have reverted back to authoritarian rule. Among the countries in the early stages of democratic institution building are states vital to U.S. national security interests, including Afghanistan and Iraq. The ability of fledgling democracies to maintain popular support depends in part on the ability of their governments to deliver economic policies that meet with widespread approval. But what sorts of economic policies are these, and are they necessarily the same as the policies required for tackling difficult issues of economic stabilization and reform? Conversely, what sorts of economic policies are most likely to spark a backlash against young and fragile democratic regimes? Do the leaders of young democracies face trade-offs as they ponder their electoral and economic strategies? These are among the questions we explore in this paper, which provides an overview of the monograph we are currently writing on the economics of young democracies. We do so first by exploring the hypothesized relationships between democratic politics and economic policy, as well as the findings of several important empirical studies with respect to the economic performance of young democracies around the world. We then provide some descriptive statistics on how the new democracies have fared in practice, making use of a new dataset that we have compiled (and which, among other things, is more up-to-date than most others cited herein). Do the data reveal any distinctive economic patterns with respect to democratic consolidation and reversal? We will show that they do. In particular, we find that deteriorating or stagnant economic performance constitutes a red flag or warning signal that the country is at risk of democratic reversal. Moreover, we find considerable variation in economic performance, suggesting that the design of political institutions in new democracies may have a significant influence on the probability of their survival.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926.
- Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 1999. "Volatility and Investment: Interpreting Evidence from Developing Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 157-79, May.
- Keefer, Philip, 2005. "Democratization and clientelism: why are young democracies badly governed?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3594, The World Bank.
- repec:fth:oxesaf:99-2 is not listed on IDEAS
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
- Dani Rodrik, 1998.
"Where Did All The Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses,"
NBER Working Papers
6350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Where Did All the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 385-412, December.
- Rodrik, Dani, 1998. "Where Did all the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict and Growth Collapses," CEPR Discussion Papers 1789, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- repec:oxf:wpaper:wps/1999-02 is not listed on IDEAS
- 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.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Ethan B. Kapstein & Branko Milanovic, 2003. "Income and Influence: Social Policy in Emerging Market Economies," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number iai, November.
- William Easterly & Jozef Ritzan & Michael Woolcock, 2006.
"Social Cohesion, Institutions, and Growth,"
94, Center for Global Development.
- Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008.
"Democratisation and Growth,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1520-1551, October.
- Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2007. "Democratization And Growth," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 07-13, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
- Papaioannou, Elias & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2008. "Democratization and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 6987, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratization and Growth," Working Papers 00027, University of Peloponnese, Department of Economics.
- Steven A. Block & Karen E. Ferree & Smita Singh, 2003. "Multiparty Competition, Founding Elections and Political Business Cycles in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(3), pages 444-468, September.
- Pranab Bardhan & Tsung-Tao Yang, 2004.
"Political Competition in Economic Perspective,"
Development and Comp Systems
- Kenneth Rogoff, 1987.
"Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles,"
NBER Working Papers
2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arvind Subramanian & Shanker Satyanath, 2004. "What Determines Long-Run Macroeconomic Stability? Democratic Institutions," IMF Working Papers 04/215, International Monetary Fund.
- Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
- Juliana Bambaci & Tamara Saront & Mariano Tommasi, 2002.
"The Political Economy of Economic Reforms in Argentina,"
43, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Mar 2002.
- Juliana Bambaci & Tamara Saront & Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "The Political Economy of Economic Reforms in Argentina," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 75-88.
- Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994.
"Cross-Country Evidence on the Link Between Volatility and Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
4959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
- Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2004.
"Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies,"
NBER Working Papers
10539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
- Bourguignon, F. & Morrisson, C., 1989.
"Income Distribution, Development and Foreign Trade: A Cross-Sectional Analysis,"
DELTA Working Papers
89-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Bourguignon, F. & Morrisson, C., 1990. "Income distribution, development and foreign trade : A cross-sectional analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1113-1132, September.
- Thorsten Beck & Luc Laeven, 2006.
"Institution building and growth in transition economies,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 157-186, June.
- Beck, Thorsten & Laeven, Luc, 2005. "Institution building and growth in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3657, The World Bank.
- Beck, Thorsten & Laeven, Luc, 2006. "Institution Building and Growth in Transition Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 5718, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Beck, T.H.L. & Laeven, L., 2006. "Institution building and growth in transition economies," Other publications TiSEM b872919e-8dac-46d6-9c0a-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Dethier, Jean-Jacques & Ghanem, Hafez & Zoli, Edda, 1999. "Does democracy facilitate the economic transition : an empirical study of Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2194, The World Bank.
- Dani Rodrik & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Do Democratic Transitions Produce Bad Economic Outcomes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 50-55, May.
- Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-985, December.
- Dani Rodrik, 2000. "Participatory Politics, Social Cooperation, and Economic Stability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 140-144, May.
- Minier, Jenny A, 1998. "Democracy and Growth: Alternative Approaches," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-266, September.
- Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
- Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1997.
"Oligarchy, Democracy, Inequality and Growth,"
DELTA Working Papers
97-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Rigobon, Roberto & Rodrik, Dani, 2004.
"Rule of Law, Democracy, Openness and Income: Estimating the Interrelationships,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Roberto Rigobon & Dani Rodrik, 2004. "Rule of Law, Democracy, Openness, and Income: Estimating the Interrelationships," NBER Working Papers 10750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Milner, Helen V. & Kubota, Keiko, 2005. "Why the Move to Free Trade? Democracy and Trade Policy in the Developing Countries," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(01), pages 107-143, January.
- Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Ricard Gil, 2003.
"Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?,"
NBER Working Papers
10040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Schuknecht, Ludger, 1996. "Political Business Cycles and Fiscal Policies in Developing Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 155-170.
- Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
- Dominique Guillaume & David Stasavage, 1999. "Making and breaking monetary policy rules: the experience of African countries," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:85. 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: (David Roodman)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.