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Democracy and prosperity in two decades of transition

  • Apolte, Thomas

This paper revisits the relation between democracy, liberalization, and prosperity in transition countries, using a panel of 25 countries over 19 years. Earlier investigations found political and economic liberalization to be positively correlated whereas the relation between political liberalization and prosperity remained unclear. In this paper, a hump-shaped relationship between political liberalization and growth is found, such that a rise in democracy levels promotes growth only under initially low democracy levels. Furthermore, economic and political liberalization turn out to be positively related, but with surprisingly small coefficients.

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Paper provided by Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster in its series CAWM Discussion Papers with number 26.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:cawmdp:26
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  1. Jessica Henson Decker & Jamus Jerome Lim, 2008. "What fundamentally drives growth? Revisiting the institutions and economic performance debate," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(5), pages 698-725.
  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. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2007. "The Growth Effect of Democracy: Is It Heterogeneous and How Can It Be Estimated?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6339, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Giavazzi, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 2005. "Economic and political liberalizations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1297-1330, October.
  5. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making autocracy work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  8. Torsten Persson, 2005. "Forms of Democracy, Policy and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 11171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  10. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
  11. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Alberto Alesina & Allan Drazen, 1989. "Why are Stabilizations Delayed?," NBER Working Papers 3053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005. "Income and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. 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.
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  16. 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.
  17. Minier, Jenny A, 1998. " Democracy and Growth: Alternative Approaches," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-66, September.
  18. Krueger, Gary & Ciolko, Marek, 1998. "A Note on Initial Conditions and Liberalization during Transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 718-734, December.
  19. 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.
  20. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
  21. 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.
  22. Jenny A. Minier, 2001. "Is Democracy a Normal Good? Evidence from Democratic Movements," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 996-1009, April.
  23. Berta Heybey & Peter Murrell, 1999. "The relationship between economic growth and the speed of liberalization during transition," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 121-137.
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  25. Falcetti, Elisabetta & Lysenko, Tatiana & Sanfey, Peter, 2006. "Reforms and growth in transition: Re-examining the evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 421-445, September.
  26. Falcetti, Elisabetta & Raiser, Martin & Sanfey, Peter, 2002. "Defying the Odds: Initial Conditions, Reforms, and Growth in the First Decade of Transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 229-250, June.
  27. Hans Pitlik, 2007. "A race to liberalization? Diffusion of economic policy reform among OECD-economies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 159-178, July.
  28. Katarzyna Metelska-Szaniawska, 2009. "Constitutions and economic reforms in transition: an empirical study," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 1-41, March.
  29. Jenny A. Minier, 2003. "Democrats, Dictators, and Demonstrators," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(2), pages 224-233, April.
  30. Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L, 2002. "Democracy, Governance, and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(2), pages 225-47, June.
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