Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

No 2010:7: Democracy as a Middle Ground: A Uni…ed Theory of Development and Political Regimes

Anna Larsson () and Stephen Parente ()
Additional contact information
Anna Larsson: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Stephen Parente: University of Illinois, Postal: Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1407 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL, 61801, USA.

Abstract: A large literature documents that autocratic regimes have not, on average, outperformed democratic regimes, although they do display greater variance in economic performance. At the same time, no long-lived autocracy currently is rich whereas every long-lived democracy is. This paper puts forth a theory to account for these observations. The theory rests on the idea that autocratic leaders are heterogenous in their preferences and the idea that special interest groups can successfully lobby a democratic regime for policies that delay industrialization. We show that an elite landed class chooses to democratize society only after the economy has accumulated enough wealth.

Keywords: Autocracy; Democracy; Landed Elites; Growth Miracles; Vested Interests

JEL-codes: O10; P16

44 pages, May 27, 2010

Full text files

wp10_07.pdf PDF-file 

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Sten Nyberg ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-01-23 23:38:25.