IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hdr/papers/hdrp-2010-29.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Political Economy of Human Development

Author

Listed:
  • Robin Harding

    () (New York University)

  • Leonard Wantchekon

    () (New York University)

Abstract

What are the causes and consequences of human development? In the twenty years since the publication of the first Human Development Report (HDR), political scientists have invested a great deal of time and effort into answering this question. So what do we know? In this paper we seek to review these labors, the fruits of which can be summarized as follows. Democracy causes, but is not caused by, economic development. While total economic growth is no higher as a result of democratic institutions, they are more conducive than non-democratic alternatives to the growth of per capita income, which is an important aspect of individual well-being. Democratic institutions are also conducive to improvements in the two other essential elements of human development, longevity and knowledge - democracy has a positive effect on indicators of education and health. Given these findings, it seems pertinent to ask why democracy has such effects. Our conclusion from the literature is that the positive impact of democratic institutions stems from their provision of accountability structures. But in providing these structures, what democracy offers is the opportunity for human development. It is no guarantee of its realization, and in the absence of factors such as information and participation this opportunity can be missed.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Harding & Leonard Wantchekon, 2010. "The Political Economy of Human Development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-29, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2010-29
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2010/papers/HDRP_2010_29.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Castelló-Climent, Amparo, 2008. "On the distribution of education and democracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 179-190, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cristina Balaceanu & Diana Apostol, 2014. "Gdp As A Measuring Instrument For The Human Development," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 6, pages 69-72, December.
    2. Dash, Bharatee Bhushan & Mukherjee, Sacchidananda, 2013. "Does Political Competition Influence Human Development? Evidence from the Indian States," Working Papers 13/118, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human Development; Democracy; Political Institutions; Accountability; Income; Education; Health.;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2010-29. 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: (HDRO/UNDP). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/hdundus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.