IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/4818.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Political Institutions and Human Development Does Democracy Fulfill its 'Constructive' and 'Instrumental' Role?

Author

Listed:
  • Vollmer, Sebastian

    (University of GAottingen)

  • Ziegler, Maria

    (University of GAottingen)

Abstract

Institutions are a major field of interest in the study of development processes. The authors contribute to this discussion concentrating our research on political institutions and their effect on the non-income dimensions of human development. First, they elaborate a theoretical argument why and under what conditions democracies compared to autocratic political systems might perform better with regards to the provision of public goods. Due to higher redistributive concerns matched to the needs of the population democracies should show a higher level of human development. In the following they analyze whether our theoretical expectations are supported by empirical facts. The authors perform a static panel analysis over the period of 1970 to 2003. The model confirms that living in a democratic system positively affects human development measured by life expectancy and literacy rates even controlling for GDP. By analyzing interaction effects they find that the performance of democracy is rather independent of the circumstances. However, democracy leads to more redistribution in favor of health provision in more unequal societies.

Suggested Citation

  • Vollmer, Sebastian & Ziegler, Maria, 2009. "Political Institutions and Human Development Does Democracy Fulfill its 'Constructive' and 'Instrumental' Role?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4818, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4818
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2009/01/12/000158349_20090112163519/Rendered/PDF/WPS4818.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Ross, 2006. "Is Democracy Good for the Poor?," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(4), pages 860-874, October.
    2. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson, 1998. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," International Economic Association Series, in: Silvio Borner & Martin Paldam (ed.), The Political Dimension of Economic Growth, chapter 3, pages 38-73, Palgrave Macmillan.
    3. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
    4. Philip Keefer & Stuti Khemani, 2005. "Democracy, Public Expenditures, and the Poor: Understanding Political Incentives for Providing Public Services," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 1-27.
    5. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
    6. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Judicial Checks and Balances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 445-470, April.
    7. Keefer, Philip, 2005. "Democratization and clientelism: why are young democracies badly governed?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3594, The World Bank.
    8. Sen, Amartya, 1988. "The concept of development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 9-26, Elsevier.
    9. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
    11. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    12. Tavares, Jose & Wacziarg, Romain, 2001. "How democracy affects growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1341-1378, August.
    13. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democracy and Development: The Devil in the Details," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 319-324, May.
    14. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    15. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
    16. Hajo Holzmann & Sebastian Vollmer & Julian Weisbrod, 2007. "Twin Peaks or Three Components? - Analyzing the World\'s Cross-Country Distribution of Income," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 162, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    17. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    18. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1996. "Wealthier is Healthier," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 841-868.
    19. Mark Gradstein & Branko Milanovic, 2004. "Does Libertè = Egalité? A Survey of the Empirical Links between Democracy and Inequality with Some Evidence on the Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 515-537, September.
    20. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 158-183, December.
    21. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    22. Paul Collier, 2001. "Implications of ethnic diversity," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 128-166.
    23. David Stasavage, 2005. "Democracy and Education Spending in Africa," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 49(2), pages 343-358, April.
    24. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    25. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    26. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    27. Minier, Jenny A, 1998. "Democracy and Growth: Alternative Approaches," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-266, September.
    28. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2006. "Health and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 313-318, May.
    29. Ming‐Chang Tsai, 2006. "Does Political Democracy Enhance Human Development in Developing Countries?," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 233-268, April.
    30. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    31. 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.
    32. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross‐Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    33. Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Development: Which Way Now?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 742-762, December.
    34. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
    35. Stephan Klasen, 2003. "In Search of The Holy Grail: How to Achieve Pro-Poor Growth ?," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 096, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    36. Olson, Mancur, 1993. "Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 567-576, September.
    37. Hall, Peter A. & Taylor, Rosemary C. R., 1996. "Political science and the three new institutionalisms," MPIfG Discussion Paper 96/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    38. Amartya Sen, 2000. "A Decade of Human Development," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 17-23.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Democracy and public good provision
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-02-24 18:07:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2013. "A Cross-country Causal Panorama of Human Development and Sustainability," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 235-251, May.
    2. Dash, Bharatee Bhushan & Mukherjee, Sacchidananda, 2013. "Does Political Competition Influence Human Development? Evidence from the Indian States," Working Papers 13/118, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    3. Vladimir A. Kozlov & Dina Y. Balalaeva, 2015. "Institutional Deficit and Health Outcomes in Post-Communist States," HSE Working papers WP BRP 25/PS/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Kozlov, Vladimir A. & Rosenberg, Dina Y., 2018. "Institutional deficit and health outcomes in post-communist states," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 119-131.
    5. Oualid Lajili and Philippe Gilles, 2018. "Financial Liberalization, Political Openness and Growth in Developing Countries: Relationship and Transmission Channels," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 1-27, March.
    6. Fumagalli, Elena & Mentzakis, Emmanouil & Suhrcke, Marc, 2013. "Do political factors matter in explaining under- and overweight outcomes in developing countries?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 48-56.
    7. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2011. "A Causal Panorama of Cross-Country Human Development," DEGIT Conference Papers c016_049, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    8. Zechariah Langnel & Ponlapat Buracom, 2020. "Governance, health expenditure and infant mortality in sub‐Saharan Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 32(4), pages 673-685, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gradstein, Mark, 2005. "Democracy, Property Rights, Redistribution and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Uwe Sunde, 2006. "Wirtschaftliche Entwicklung und Demokratie – Ist Demokratie ein Wohlstandsmotor oder ein Wohlstandsprodukt?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(4), pages 471-499, November.
    3. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratisation and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1520-1551, October.
    4. Carl Henrik Knutsen, 2012. "Democracy and economic growth: A survey of arguments and results," International Area Studies Review, Center for International Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 393-415, December.
    5. Madsen, Jakob B. & Raschky, Paul A. & Skali, Ahmed, 2015. "Does democracy drive income in the world, 1500–2000?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 175-195.
    6. Fabrice Murtin & Romain Wacziarg, 2014. "The democratic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 141-181, June.
    7. Freund, Caroline & Jaud, Mélise, 2013. "Regime Change, Democracy and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 9282, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Mulligan Casey B & Gil Ricard & Sala-i-Martin Xavier X, 2010. "Social Security and Democracy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-46, March.
    9. Piergiuseppe Fortunato, 2015. "Democratic Government and Development: A Survey," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 32(2), pages 153-177, September.
    10. Jorge Braga Macedo & Joaquim Oliveira Martins & João Tovar Jalles, 2021. "Globalization, Freedoms and Economic convergence: an empirical exploration of a trivariate relationship using a large panel," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 605-629, July.
    11. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/5m0od0o9jn9pqbdmos7fpt28hg is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Daron Acemoglu & Suresh Naidu & Pascual Restrepo & James A. Robinson, 2019. "Democracy Does Cause Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(1), pages 47-100.
    13. Datta, Sandip, 2020. "Political competition and public healthcare expenditure: Evidence from Indian states," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 244(C).
    14. Piergiuseppe Fortunato & Ugo Panizza, 2015. "Democracy, education and the quality of government," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 333-363, December.
    15. Cervellati Matteo & Fortunato Piergiuseppe & Sunde Uwe, 2012. "Consensual and Conflictual Democratization," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-51, December.
    16. Natkhov, T. & Polishchuk, L., 2017. "Political Economy of Institutions and Development: The Importance of Being Inclusive. Reflection on "Why Nations Fail" by D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson. Part I. Institutions and Economic Devel," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 12-38.
    17. Amegashie, J. Atsu, 2008. "Autocratic rule in ethnically-diverse societies," MPRA Paper 8933, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Knutsen, Carl Henrik, 2013. "Democracy, State Capacity, and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-18.
    19. Olper, Alessandro & Falkowski, Jan & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Democracy and Agricultural Protection: Parametric and Semi-parametric Matching Estimates," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49313, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    20. Sugata Ghosh & Andros Gregoriou & Anirban Mitra, 2013. "On the Role of Democracy in the Ethnicity-Growth Relationship: Theory and Evidence," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 13-02, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    21. Lilyan E. Fulginiti, 2010. "What comes first, agricultural growth or democracy?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(1), pages 15-24, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human development; democracy; political institutions; life expectancy; literacy; panel analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Economic Logic blog

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4818. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.