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This article challenges recent findings that democracy has sizable effects on economic growth. As extensive political science research indicates that economic turmoil is responsible for causing or facilitating many democratic transitions, the paper focuses on this endogeneity concern. Using a worldwide survey of 165 country-specific democracy experts conducted for this study, the paper separates democratic transitions into those occurring for reasons related to economic turmoil, here called endogenous, and those grounded in reasons more exogenous to economic growth. The behavior of economic growth following these more exogenous democratizations strongly indicates that democracy does not cause growth. Consequently, the common positive association between democracy and economic growth is driven by endogenous democratization episodes (i.e., due to faulty identification).
This online appendix presents a thorough analysis of the nature, dynamics, and most important events for 38 cases of democratization, including the list of democracy experts and key country-specific references obtained from the survey and from numerous books and academic articles. (View publication)
This Report moves beyond the conventional scope of economics to examine three entrenched structural factors -demography, geography and institutions- that are closely connected to economic and social development. Historical in nature and slow to evolve, these variables are not always in the forefront of economic analysis. They do, however, hold the key to better understanding Latin American societi ... (View publication)
Why should people—and economies—save? The typical answer usually focuses on the need to protect against future shocks, to smooth consumption during hard times, in short, to save for the proverbial rainy day. This book approaches the question from a slightly different angle. While saving to survive the bad times is important, saving to thrive in the good times is what really counts. This book explo ... (View publication)
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