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Time Under Authoritarian Rule and Economic Growth

Art Carden

Brock School of Business, Samford University

Harvey S. James Jr.

University of Missouri

July 2007

CORI Working Paper No. 2007-02

We investigate the relationship between exposure to "authoritarian" or "autocratic" institutions for prolonged periods of time and long-term economic development. Specifically, we examine how the length of time a country's regime was authoritarian between 1920 and 2000 is correlated with economic growth and per capita income. We find a moderate though negative effect, even after controlling for other factors. In contrast, we also find that the length of time a country is not subject to authoritarian regimes is positively related to economic growth and the level of per capital income. We claim this evidence is consistent with the thesis that one of the reasons why countries have had difficulty adjusting to life after autocracy is that the human and social capital necessary to make markets "work" eroded under autocratic regimes and takes time to develop afterward.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: authoritarianism, autocracy, institutions, development

JEL Classification: O17, O43, P0

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Date posted: September 4, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Carden, Art and James, Harvey S., Time Under Authoritarian Rule and Economic Growth (July 2007). CORI Working Paper No. 2007-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1010748 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1010748

Contact Information

Art Carden
Brock School of Business, Samford University ( email )
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.artcarden.com
Harvey S. James Jr. (Contact Author)
University of Missouri ( email )
146 Mumford Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-884-9682 (Phone)
573-882-3958 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://hsjames2.wordpress.com/
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