Democracy Versus Dictatorship? The Political Determinants of Growth Episodes

ESID Working Paper No 70

50 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2017 Last revised: 9 Mar 2017

See all articles by Kunal Sen

Kunal Sen

University of Manchester

Lant Pritchett

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Center for Global Development

Sabyasachi Kar

University of Delhi - Institute of Economic Growth (IEG)

Selim Raihan

University of Dhaka

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

In contrast to previous literature, which looks at the effect of democracy on long-run growth or short-run volatility of growth, we examine the effect of political institutions on medium-term growth episodes. These are episodes of accelerations and decelerations that characterise the growth experience of most developing countries. We find that the effect of political institutions on growth is asymmetric across accelerations and decelerations, and that democracies do not necessarily outperform autocracies in a growth acceleration episode, though they are likely to prevent large growth collapses. When we disaggregate the type of autocracy, we find that party-based autocracies outperform democracies in growth acceleration episodes, though they do not limit the fall in the magnitude in growth deceleration episodes in comparison to democracies.

Keywords: Political institutions, economic growth, growth episodes, democracy, autocracy

Suggested Citation

Sen, Kunal and Pritchett, Lant and Kar, Sabyasachi and Raihan, Selim, Democracy Versus Dictatorship? The Political Determinants of Growth Episodes (March 2017). ESID Working Paper No 70, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2893112 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2893112

Kunal Sen (Contact Author)

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Lant Pritchett

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4562 (Phone)
617-496-2554 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~lpritch/

Center for Global Development

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Sabyasachi Kar

University of Delhi - Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) ( email )

Delhi, 110007
India

Selim Raihan

University of Dhaka ( email )

University of Dhaka
Ramna, Dhaka, 1000
Bangladesh

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