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Does democracy facilitate the economic transition : an empirical study of Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union

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  • Dethier, Jean-Jacques*Ghanem, Hafez*Zoli, Edda

Abstract

The authors analyze whether political freedom and civil liberties help or hinder economic liberalization, using panel data from 25 post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union between 1992 and 1997. Building on arguments and counter-arguments put forth in recent literature, they identify the channels through which political freedom affects economic liberalization during the transition. Then they test the arguments empirically with an econometric framework that takes into account possible problems with simultaneity between the economic and political transitions. Their empirical findings clearly reveal that democracy has facilitated economic liberalization in countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. This conclusion is confirmed under various model specifications, for both ordinary and two-stage least squares procedures and using two different measures of liberalization. The econometric results reveal that the existence of a vibrant civil society at the start of the transition has the most explanatory power in the author's regressions.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2194
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Narayan, Paresh Kumar & Narayan, Seema & Smyth, Russell, 2011. "Does democracy facilitate economic growth or does economic growth facilitate democracy? An empirical study of Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, pages 900-910.
    2. 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.
    3. Cristian Dragos & Daniela Beju & Simona Dragos, 2009. "Public and Financial Institutions in Transition Economies: An Overview and Recent Evidences from Central and Eastern Europe," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 7(2), pages 147-170.
    4. Pauline Grosjean & Claudia Senik, 2011. "Democracy, Market Liberalization, and Political Preferences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 365-381, February.
    5. Thomas Apolte, 2011. "Democracy and prosperity in two decades of transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(4), pages 693-722, October.
    6. Frensch, Richard, 2004. "Public governance as the source of quality and variety gains from transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 388-408, September.
    7. Polterovich, Victor & Popov, Vladimir, 2005. "Democracy and Growth Reconsidered: Why Economic Performance of New Democracies is not Encouraging," MPRA Paper 21606, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Paola Giuliano & Prachi Mishra & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2013. "Democracy and Reforms: Evidence from a New Dataset," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 179-204, October.
    9. Polterovich, Victor & Popov, Vladimir, 2007. "Демократизация И Экономический Рост
      [Democratization and Economic Growth]
      ," MPRA Paper 23012, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Giuliano, Paola & Mishra, Prachi & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2009. "Democracy and Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 4032, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2003. "Does more democracy lead to greater economic freedom? New evidence for developing countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 547-563, September.
    12. Kapstein, Ethan & Converse, Nathan, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," MPRA Paper 553, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Ethan Kapstein & Nathan Converse, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," Working Papers 85, Center for Global Development.
    14. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2001. "Democracy in transition economies: Grease or sand in the wheels of growth?," ZEI Working Papers B 09-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    15. Ghosh Banerjee, Sudeshna & Rondinelli, Dennis A., 2003. "Does Foreign Aid Promote Privatization? Empirical Evidence from Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1527-1548, September.
    16. Polterovich, Victor & Popov, Vladimir, 2007. "Democratization, Quality of Institutions and Economic Growth," MPRA Paper 19152, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Campos, Nauro F & De Grauwe, Paul & Ji, Yuemei, 2017. "Structural Reforms, Growth and Inequality: An Overview of Theory, Measurement and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 11159, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2000. "Liberalization, democracy and economic performance during transition," ZEI Working Papers B 05-2000, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    19. Marek Dabrowski & Radzislawa Gortat, 2002. "Political Determinants of Economic Reforms in Former Communist Countries," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0242, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    20. Sudeshna Ghosh Banerjee & Michael C. Munger, 2004. "Move to markets? An empirical analysis of privatization in developing countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 213-240.
    21. Bernd Hayo, 2001. "On Democratization and Economic Conditions in Eastern Europe," Development and Comp Systems 0106001, EconWPA.
    22. Askarov, Zohid & Doucouliagos, Hristos, 2015. "Aid and institutions in transition economies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 55-70.
    23. Campos, Nauro F., 2000. "Context is everything : measuring institutional change in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2269, The World Bank.
    24. Hayo, Bernd, 2001. "A note on democratization and economic conditions in Eastern Europe," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 559-562.
    25. Apolte, Thomas & Peters, Heiko, 2009. "Governance, Demokratie und wirtschaftliche Entwicklung in den ehemals sozialistischen Staaten," IÖB-Diskussionspapiere 1/09, University of Münster, Institute for Economic Education.

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