Przeworski--What_Makes

Przeworski--What_Makes - April 2005 Comments on:...

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April 2005 Comments on: Przeworski, Alvarez, Cheibub, and Limongi, "What Makes Democracies Endure?" Introduction 1 This article begins with the following question: 2 "If a country, any randomly selected country, is to have a democratic regime next year, what conditions should be present in that country and around the world this year? 3 The answer is: 4 democracy 5 affluence 6 growth with moderate inflation 7 declining inequality 8 a favorable international climate, and 9 parliamentary institutions. 10 Where did they get these results? 11 By counting instances of survival and death of political regimes in 135 countries observed annually between 1950 (or the year of independence or the first year when economic data are available), and 1990 or the last year for which data are available. 12 A total of 4,318 country-years. 13 There were 224 regimes, of which 101 were democracies and 123 were dictatorships, and with 14 40 transitions from democracies to dictatorships, and 15 50 transitions from dictatorships to democracies. One specific hypothesis: 16 Two old claims: 17 Dictatorships are better at generating economic development in poor countries; and, 18 Once countries have developed, their dictatorial regimes will give way to democracy. 19 To get to democracy, then, one had to support, or at least tolerate, dictatorships. 20 Both of these old claims are false! 21 For the most part, "recent econometric evidence fails to uncover any clear regime effect" involving the effect of regime on the rate of economic growth: 22 dictatorships are no more likely to generate economic growth than democracies. 23 Democracies are not produced by the development of dictatorships.
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24 If democracies were produced by the development of dictatorships, the rate at which dictatorships make the transition to democracy would increase with the level of development; 25 however, the survival prospects of dictatorships indicate that this is not the case: 26 instead, transitions to democracy are random with regard to the level of development. 27 Counterargument: 28 Perhaps what is important is what happens at the end of a given dictator's rule, if the country has become sufficiently developed economically. 29
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Przeworski--What_Makes - April 2005 Comments on:...

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