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Wirtschaftliche Entwicklung und Demokratie: Ist Demokratie ein Wohlstandsmotor oder ein Wohlstandsprodukt?

  • Sunde, Uwe


    (University of Munich)

Praktisch alle wirtschaftlich entwickelten Länder der Welt sind demokratisch. Sind demokratische Strukturen also kausal für wirtschaftlichen Wohlstand und Wachstum? Oder ist es vielmehr der wirtschaftliche Entwicklungsstand eines Landes, der eine Demokratie erst ermöglicht? Dieser Artikel gibt einen Überblick über die jüngere empirische Literatur zur Frage der Kausalität hinter der positiven Korrelation zwischen der Wahrscheinlichkeit demokratischer Strukturen und wirtschaftlichem Wohlstand und Wachstum. Die Evidenz lässt Zweifel an einem direkten kausalen Effekt in irgendeiner Richtung aufkommen. Allerdings deuten die Ergebnisse auf indirekte Effekte hin. So schaffen Demokratien offensichtlich bessere Rahmenbedingungen für die Akkumulation von Humankapital, insbesondere durch die Gewährleistung eines Rechtsstaats, und somit für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung. Andererseits scheint nicht Wohlstand an sich, sondern ein damit einhergehendes geeignetes gesellschaftliches Umfeld, wie etwa geringe Ungleichheit, demokratische Strukturen erst zu ermöglichen. Economically highly developed countries are mostly democratic. But does this association constitute a causal relationship according to which democracy is a determinant of economic development? Or is it, conversely, economic development that paves the way for democratization? This paper gives an overview of the recent empirical literature that has dealt with this question. The empirical evidence raises doubts about the existence of any direct causation. However, there seem to be indirect causal mechanisms. Democracies seem to implement better conditions for the accumulation of human capital, in particular in terms of a rule of law. On the other hand do democracies not simply arise as consequence of economic development, but because of an adequate social environment with little inequality, that may be associated with economic well-being.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2244.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, 2006, 7(4), 471-499
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2244
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