Case for Democracy Report

12 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2024 Last revised: 12 Apr 2024

See all articles by Martin Lundstedt

Martin Lundstedt

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Felix Wiebrecht

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Vanessa A. Boese-Schlosser

WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Kelly Morrison

University of Gothenburg - Varieties of Democracy Institute

Natalia Natsika

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Marina Nord

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Evie Papada

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Yuko Sato

V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg

Staffan I. Lindberg

University of Gothenburg - Varieties of Democracy Institute; University of Gothenburg - Department of Political Science

Date Written: April 2023

Abstract

This Case for Democracy (C4D) Report highlights the following 10 key scientific research findings:

1 Democratization leads to economic growth – on average 20% higher GDP per capita after 25 years. Democracies also avoid the more catastrophic economic outcomes that characterize many autocracies.
2 Transitioning to democracy leads on average, to over 100% increase in social protection spending.
3 Democracies with strong accountability mechanisms provide 23% more safe water access, 35% more immunization to young children, and up to 40% more electricity access, than autocracies.
4 Democracy improves human development. For example, a high level of democracy leads to 94% less infant mortality than in dictatorships.
5 Democracy increases education: Moving from a full autocracy to a full democracy corresponds to 70% increase in secondary enrollment – but it is unclear if education spending or quality is affected.
6 Democratic countries have better gender equality and more women engaged in politics – and increased participation of women in politics reduces risk of conflicts and wars.
7 Democracies do not wage wars against each other and see much lower risks of conflict and instability than autocracies. Autocratization leads to more wars and conflicts.
8 Corruption diminishes as democracy matures with fully free and fair elections and freedom of expression including media freedom.
9 Democracies consistently perform better than autocracies when it comes to committing to and delivering policy on climate change mitigation.
10 Yet, democracy does not in general lead to lower levels of economic inequality.

Keywords: democracy, autocracy

Suggested Citation

Lundstedt, Martin and Wiebrecht, Felix and Boese-Schlosser, Vanessa Alexandra and Morrison, Kelly and Natsika, Natalia and Nord, Marina and Papada, Evie and Sato, Yuko and Lindberg, Staffan I., Case for Democracy Report (April 2023). V-Dem Thematic Report No. 6, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4787171 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4787171

Martin Lundstedt

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

Felix Wiebrecht

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

Vanessa Alexandra Boese-Schlosser

WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Kelly Morrison

University of Gothenburg - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
C-building level 3
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://kellyemorrison.com

Natalia Natsika

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

Marina Nord (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

Gothenburg, 40530
Sweden

Evie Papada

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

Yuko Sato

V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Staffan I. Lindberg

University of Gothenburg - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://v-dem.net

University of Gothenburg - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, S-405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se

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