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Sunday, 16 September 2007

Hope or despair?

A new paper by Daron Acemoglu et al sheds new light on the relationship between income and democracy, offering hope or despair depending on your point of view:

Our overall conclusion is that the relationship between income and democracy and the widely-accepted modernization hypothesis need to be reevaluated, with much greater emphasis on the underlying factors affecting both variables and the political and economic development path of societies. Our results indicate that countries have embarked upon different development paths, most likely at some critical junctures during their histories, and while some paths have led to democracy and prosperity, some others involved non-democracy and relative poverty. Although democracy and prosperity coevolve along the “virtuous” development path, there is no evidence that income has a causal effect on democracy conditional on the development path.

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