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Democracy and Development: The Devil in the Details

  • Torsten Persson
  • Guido Tabellini

Does democrazy promote economic development? Reviews recent attempts to addresses this question that exploited within-country variation. It shows that the answer is largely postive, but also depends on the details of democratic reforms. First, the sequence of economic vs political reforms matters: countries liberalizing their economy before extending political rights do better. Second, different forms of democratic government lead to different economic policies, and this might explain why presidential democracy leads to faster growth than parliamentary democracy. Third, it is important to distinguish between expected and actual political reforms. Taking expectations of regime change into account helps identify a stronger growth effect of democracy.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 302.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:302
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  1. Persson, Torsten, 2005. "Forms of Democracy, Policy and Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 4938, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  3. 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.
  4. Francesco Giavazzi & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Economic and Political Liberalizations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000724, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratization and Growth," Working Papers 00027, University of Peloponnese, Department of Economics.
  6. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 88-126, July.
  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. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
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