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Democracy and Reforms

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  • Amin, Mohammad
  • Djankov, Simeon

Abstract

We use a sample of 147 countries to investigate the link between democracy and reforms. Democracy may be conducive to reform, because politicians have the incentive to embrace growth-enhancing reforms to win elections. On the other hand, authoritarian regimes do not have to worry as much about public opinion and may undertake reforms that are painful in the short run but bring future prosperity. We test these hypotheses, using data on micro-economic reforms from the World Bank’s Doing Business database. These data do not suffer the endogeneity issues associated with other datasets on changes in economic institutions. The results provide a robust support for the claim that democracy is good for growth-enhancing reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Amin, Mohammad & Djankov, Simeon, 2009. "Democracy and Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7151, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7151
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 6849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    3. Levon Barseghyan, 2008. "Entry costs and cross-country differences in productivity and output," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 145-167, June.
    4. Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738.
    5. Stulz, Rene M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2003. "Culture, openness, and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 313-349, December.
    6. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-1155, December.
    7. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
    8. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    9. Klapper, Leora & Laeven, Luc & Rajan, Raghuram, 2006. "Entry regulation as a barrier to entrepreneurship," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 591-629, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. EZZAT Riham Ahmed, 2015. "Paving the Way for Better Telecom Performance: Evidence from the Telecommunication Sector in MENA Countries," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 157-199, September.
    2. Amin, Mohammad & Djankov, Simeon, 2009. "Natural resources and reforms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4882, The World Bank.
    3. Riham Ahmed Ezzat, 2015. "Paving the way for better telecom performance: Evidence from the telecommunication sector in MENA countries," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01164199, HAL.
    4. repec:eur:ejisjr:185 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mawussé K. N. Okey, 2011. "Institutional Reforms, Private Sector, and Economic Growth in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 040, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Alexander Salhi & Andreas Kern & Martin Rößler, 2010. "Growth Patterns in the CIS-8: A Political Economy Approach," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 17(4), pages 686-708, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democracy; Reform; Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • P11 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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