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Democracy and reforms

  • Amin, Mohammad
  • Djankov, Simeon

The authors use a sample of 147 countries to investigate the link between democracy and reforms. Democracy may be conducive to reforms, because politicians have the incentive to embrace growth-enhancing reforms to win elections. By contrast, authoritarian regimes do not have to worry as much about public opinion and may undertake reforms that are painful in the short run but bring future prosperity. This paper tests these hypotheses, using data on micro-economic reforms from the World Bank's Doing Business database. These data do not suffer the endogeneity issues associated with other datasets on changes in economic institutions. The results provide robust support for the claim that democracy is good for growth-enhancing reforms.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4835.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4835
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Culture, Openness, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Klapper, Leora & Laeven, Luc & Rajan, Raghuram, 2006. "Entry regulation as a barrier to entrepreneurship," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 591-629, December.
  4. Levon Barseghyan, 2008. "Entry costs and cross-country differences in productivity and output," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 145-167, June.
  5. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," NBER Working Papers 6364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
  7. 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.
  8. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 6849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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