The objective of this paper is to study the relationship between economic growth and civil liberty across the globe in the long run. To fulfill this aim, we use an unbalanced panel of 149 countries for the period 1850–2010 with data on gross domestic product (GDP) from Maddison, and data on civil liberties from Polity IV. The dynamics of both variables are investigated. Once country and time effects are accounted for in a dynamic panel data model, our results show that movements toward higher levels of civil liberty are associated with higher economic growth rates. Therefore, we find that civil liberties are a relevant factor to explain economic growth. We perform some sensitivity tests that confirm the robustness of our results.