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Democracy Versus Dictatorship? The Political Determinants of Growth Episodes

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  • Sen, Kunal

    (University of Manchester)

  • Pritchett, Lant

    (Harvard University and Center for Global Development, Washington, DC)

  • Kar, Sabyasachi

    (Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi)

  • Raihan, Selim

    (University of Dhaka)

Abstract

In contrast to previous literature, which looks at the effect of democracy on long-run growth or short-run volatility of growth, we examine the effect of political institutions on medium-term growth episodes. These are episodes of accelerations and decelerations that characterise the growth experience of most developing countries. We find that the effect of political institutions on growth is asymmetric across accelerations and decelerations, and that democracies do not necessarily outperform autocracies in a growth acceleration episode, though they are likely to prevent large growth collapses. When we disaggregate the type of autocracy, we find that party-based autocracies outperform democracies in growth acceleration episodes, though they do not limit the fall in the magnitude in growth deceleration episodes in comparison to democracies.

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  • Sen, Kunal & Pritchett, Lant & Kar, Sabyasachi & Raihan, Selim, 2016. "Democracy Versus Dictatorship? The Political Determinants of Growth Episodes," Working Paper Series rwp17-009, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp17-009
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    1. Kunal Sen & Lant Pritchett & Sabyasachi Kar & Selim Raihan, 2016. "Democracy versus dictatorship? The political determinants of growth episodes," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series esid-070-16, GDI, The University of Manchester.

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