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Economic and Political Liberalizations

  • Giavazzi, Francesco
  • Tabellini, Guido

This Paper studies empirically the effects of and the interactions amongst economic and political liberalizations. Economic liberalizations are measured by a widely used indicator that captures the scope of the market in the economy, and in particular of policies towards freer international trade (cf. Sachs and Werner, 1995; Wacziarg and Welch, 2003). Political liberalizations correspond to the event of becoming a democracy. Using a difference-in-difference estimation, we ask what are the effects of liberalizations on economic performance, on macroeconomic policy and on structural policies. The main results concern the quantitative relevance of the feedback and interaction effects between the two kinds of reforms. First, we find positive feedback effects between economic and political reforms. The timing of events indicates that causality is more likely to run from political to economic liberalizations, rather than vice versa, but we cannot rule out feedback effects in both directions. Second, the sequence of reforms matters. Countries that first liberalize and then become democracies do much better than countries that pursue the opposite sequence, in almost all dimensions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4579.

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Date of creation: Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4579
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  1. Francesco Giavazzi & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Economic and Political Liberalizations," Working Papers 264, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. 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.
  3. Arvind Subramanian & Shanker Satyanath, 2004. "What Determines Long-Run Macroeconomic Stability? Democratic Institutions," IMF Working Papers 04/215, International Monetary Fund.
  4. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2003. "Does more democracy lead to greater economic freedom? New evidence for developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 547-563, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Jan Fidrmuc, 2001. "Economic Reform, Democracy and Growth During Post-Communist Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 372, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, June.
  8. Papaioannou, Elias & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2008. "Economic and Social Factors Driving the Third Wave of Democratization," CEPR Discussion Papers 6986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  10. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
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  12. Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "Trade liberalization and per capita income convergence: a difference-in-differences analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 203-228, October.
  13. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Rodríguez, Francisco & Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Sceptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Andrew Warner, 2003. "Once More into the Breach: Economic Growth and Integration," Working Papers 34, Center for Global Development.
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "From Education to Democracy?," NBER Working Papers 11204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Wacziarg, Romain & Welch, Karen Horn, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," Research Papers 1826, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  19. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Trade, Growth, and the Size of Countries," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1995, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  20. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
  21. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  22. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  23. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to Cross-National Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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