Does Rapid Economic Growth Accelerate Democratization? Time-Series Evidence from High Performing Asian Economies
We examine the direction of causality between growth and democratization for the high performing Asian economies using a new time-series technique called autoregressive distributive lag. We find that for all eight of such economies, the direction of causality runs consistently from democratization to growth and not the other way around. Rapid growth in the high performing economies appears to have little effect on democratization. We also find that the net effect of democratization on growth is not always positive. Against the widely-held view that growth enhances democratization, our evidence suggests that rapidly developing countries under authoritarian rule are unlikely to improve their democratic institutions.
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