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The Modern World: The effect of democracy, colonialism and war on economic growth 1820-2000

  • Branko Milanovic

    (World Bank)

The paper uses the recently available data on growth rates, democracy, protectionism, and wars over the period 1820 to 2000 to look at the determinants of economic growth over the long-term. It is motivated by the following questions: what is the effect of democracy on growth, was colonialism economically bad for colonies, does protectionism affect growth negatively, what is the effect of wars? We find that own democracy has a significant positive impact on growth which increases as country’s income goes up. (Overall level of democracy in the world however has no effect on growth.) The effect of colonialism is not statistically significant. Lower average level of protection in the world helps growth. Wars, whether civil or between the states, are strongly detrimental to economic growth.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/dev/papers/0509/0509002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0509002.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: 06 Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0509002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 57
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
  2. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
  3. Shen, Jian-Guang, 2002. "Democracy and growth: An alternative empirical approach," BOFIT Discussion Papers 13/2002, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  4. Milanovic, Branko, 2000. "The median-voter hypothesis, income inequality, and income redistribution: an empirical test with the required data," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 367-410, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  7. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  10. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  11. Bairoch, Paul, 1989. "The paradoxes of economic history: Economic laws and history," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(2-3), pages 225-249, March.
  12. John H. Coatsworth & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "The Roots of Latin American Protectionism: Looking Before the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 8999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jian-Guang Shen, 2002. "Democracy and growth: An alternative empirical approach," Development and Comp Systems 0212002, EconWPA.
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