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Democratization, Quality of Institutions and Economic Growth

  • Polterovich, Victor
  • Popov, Vladimir

There are two innovations in the paper as compared to the previous literature on democracy and growth. First, we consider not only the level of democracy, but also changes in this level in the 1970s-1990s as measured by increments of Freedom House political rights indices. Second, the distinction is made between democracy and law and order (order based on legal rules); the latter is measured by the rule of law, investors' risk and corruption indices. We discuss two interconnected threshold hypotheses: (1) in countries where law and order is strong enough, democratization stimulates economic growth, whereas in countries with poor law and order democratization undermines growth; (2) if democratization occurs under the conditions of poor law and order (so that illiberal democracy emerges), then shadow economy expands, quality of governance worsens, and macroeconomic policy becomes less prudent. We adduce a number of stylized facts to support our hypotheses. However our econometric findings are mixed: we report results that support the hypotheses as well as regressions that contradict them.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19152.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19152
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  1. Nelson, Michael A & Singh, Ram D, 1998. "Democracy, Economic Freedom, Fiscal Policy, and Growth in LDCs: A Fresh Look," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(4), pages 677-96, July.
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  4. Ellman, Michael, 2000. "The 1947 Soviet Famine and the Entitlement Approach to Famines," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(5), pages 603-30, September.
  5. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2003. "Economic reform, democracy and growth during post-communist transition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 583-604, September.
  6. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Nauro Campos, 1999. "Back to the Future: The Growth Prospects of Transition Economies Reconsidered," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 229, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  8. Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in A Young Democracy Setting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1301-1338, November.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 10481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Polterovich, Victor & Popov, Vladimir & Tonis, Alexander, 2007. "Resource Abundance, Political Corruption, and Instability of Democracy," MPRA Paper 19154, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  12. Vladimir Popov, 2000. "Shock Therapy Versus Gradualism: The End Of The Debate (Explaining The Magnitude Of Transformational Recession)," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-57, April.
  13. Robert R. Kaufman & Barbara Stallings, 1991. "The Political Economy of Latin American Populism," NBER Chapters, in: The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America, pages 15-43 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Vladimir Popov, 2006. "Shock Therapy Versus Gradualism Reconsidered: Lessons From Transition Economies After 15 Years Of Reforms," Working Papers w0068, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  15. Mark Gradstein & Branko Milanovic, 2000. "Does Liberté = Egalité? A Survey of the Empirical Evidence on the Links between Political Democracy and Income Inequality," CESifo Working Paper Series 261, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
  17. Clague, Christopher & Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen & Olson, Mancur, 1996. "Property and Contract Rights in Autocracies and Democracies," MPRA Paper 25720, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. 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 1146-55, December.
  19. Dethier, Jean-Jacques & Ghanem, Hafez & Zoli, Edda, 1999. "Does democracy facilitate the economic transition : an empirical study of Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2194, The World Bank.
  20. Polterovich, Victor, 2007. "Institutional Trap," MPRA Paper 20595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Michael D. Intriligator, 1998. "Democracy In Reforming Collapsed Communist Economies: Blessing Or Curse?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(2), pages 241-246, 04.
  23. Clague, Christopher, et al, 1996. " Property and Contract Rights in Autocracies and Democracies," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 243-76, June.
  24. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1989. "Social Conflict and Populist Policies in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 2897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  26. Aron, Janine, 2000. "Growth and Institutions: A Review of the Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(1), pages 99-135, February.
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