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Reassessing the Links between Regime Type and Economic Performance: Why Some Authoritarian Regimes Show Stable Growth and Others Do Not

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2013

Abstract

This analysis challenges claims that regime type determines national economic performance, and hypothesizes that the level of public deliberation, rather than broad categories of regime type, is the driver of national economic performance across political systems; specifically, that negotiations, disagreements, and compromises between decentralized decision-making partisans (e.g., citizens, business representatives, professional associations, labor, and public administrators) are the underlying causal mechanism explaining the non-monotonic relationship between different types of political system and economic performance. Countries with high levels of public deliberation more often experience stable growth outcomes, while other countries can make radical changes in economic policy with uncertain outcome. The variation in public deliberation within regime type is significant, especially amongst authoritarian regimes. One startling implication is that, in certain situations, impressive gains in economic growth can be achieved only at the expense of active negotiation and participation in the policy-making process.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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Footnotes

*

Asian Studies Center, Michigan State University (email: chandr45@msu.edu); Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh (email: Rudra@pitt.edu). The authors gratefully acknowledge William N. Dunn, Paul Y. Hammond, Irfan Nooruddin, Dani Rodrik, David Rueda, anonymous referees of the manuscript, and the editors of this journal for their comments or support. Online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0007123413000355

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