IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance

  • Kapstein, Ethan
  • Converse, Nathan
Registered author(s):

    Since the “third wave” of democratization began in 1974, nearly 100 states have adopted democratic forms of government, including, of course, most of the former Soviet bloc nations. Policy-makers in the west have expressed the hope that this democratic wave will extend even further, to the Middle East and onward to China. But the durability of this new democratic age remains an open question. By some accounts, at least half of the world’s young democracies—often referred to in the academic literature as being “unconsolidated” or “fragile”—are still struggling to develop their political institutions, and several have reverted back to authoritarian rule. Among the countries in the early stages of democratic institution building are states vital to U.S. national security interests, including Afghanistan and Iraq. The ability of fledgling democracies to maintain popular support depends in part on the ability of their governments to deliver economic policies that meet with widespread approval. But what sorts of economic policies are these, and are they necessarily the same as the policies required for tackling difficult issues of economic stabilization and reform? Conversely, what sorts of economic policies are most likely to spark a backlash against young and fragile democratic regimes? Do the leaders of young democracies face trade-offs as they ponder their electoral and economic strategies? These are among the questions we explore in this paper, which provides an overview of the monograph we are currently writing on the economics of young democracies. We do so first by exploring the hypothesized relationships between democratic politics and economic policy, as well as the findings of several important empirical studies with respect to the economic performance of young democracies around the world. We then provide some descriptive statistics on how the new democracies have fared in practice, making use of a new dataset that we have compiled (and which, among other things, is more up-to-date than most others cited herein). Do the data reveal any distinctive economic patterns with respect to democratic consolidation and reversal? We will show that they do. In particular, we find that deteriorating or stagnant economic performance constitutes a red flag or warning signal that the country is at risk of democratic reversal. Moreover, we find considerable variation in economic performance, suggesting that the design of political institutions in new democracies may have a significant influence on the probability of their survival.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/553/1/MPRA_paper_553.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 553.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: Mar 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:553
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
    Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
    Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
    Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link Between Volatility and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 1999. "Volatility and Investment: Interpreting Evidence from Developing Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 157-79, May.
    3. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
    4. Dominique Guillaume & David Stasavage, 1999. "Making and breaking monetary policy rules: the experience of African countries," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Bourguignon, F. & Morrisson, C., 1989. "Income Distribution, Development and Foreign Trade: A Cross-Sectional Analysis," DELTA Working Papers 89-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    6. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. William Easterly & Jozef Ritzan & Michael Woolcock, 2006. "Social Cohesion, Institutions, and Growth," Working Papers 94, Center for Global Development.
    8. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratisation and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1520-1551, October.
    9. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
    10. Beck, T.H.L. & Laeven, L., 2006. "Institution building and growth in transition economies," Other publications TiSEM b872919e-8dac-46d6-9c0a-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. Rigobon, Roberto & Rodrik, Dani, 2004. "Rule of Law, Democracy, Openness and Income: Estimating the Interrelationships," CEPR Discussion Papers 4653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Bardhan, Pranab & Yang, Tsung-Tao, 2004. "Political Competition in Economic Perspective," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1907c39n, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    13. Ethan B. Kapstein & Branko Milanovic, 2003. "Income and Influence: Social Policy in Emerging Market Economies," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number iai, November.
    14. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2004. "Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies," NBER Working Papers 10539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Schuknecht, Ludger, 1996. "Political Business Cycles and Fiscal Policies in Developing Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 155-70.
    16. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    17. Milner, Helen V. & Kubota, Keiko, 2005. "Why the Move to Free Trade? Democracy and Trade Policy in the Developing Countries," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(01), pages 107-143, January.
    18. Dominique Guillaume & David Stasavage, 1999. "Making and breaking monetary policy rules: the experience of African countries," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1999-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    19. Keefer, Philip, 2005. "Democratization and clientelism: why are young democracies badly governed?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3594, The World Bank.
    20. Steven A. Block & Karen E. Ferree & Smita Singh, 2003. "Multiparty Competition, Founding Elections and Political Business Cycles in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(3), pages 444-468, September.
    21. Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
    22. Arvind Subramanian & Shanker Satyanath, 2004. "What Determines Long-Run Macroeconomic Stability? Democratic Institutions," IMF Working Papers 04/215, International Monetary Fund.
    23. Minier, Jenny A, 1998. " Democracy and Growth: Alternative Approaches," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-66, September.
    24. 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.
    25. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
    26. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:553. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.