Political Institutions and Human Development Does Democracy Fulfill its ’Constructive’ and ’Instrumental’ Role?


Institutions are a major field of interest in the study of development processes. We contribute to this discussion concentrating our research on political institutions and their effect on the non-income dimensions of human development. First, we elaborate a theoretical argument why and under what conditions democracies compared to autocratic political systems might perform better with regards to the provision of public goods. Due to higher redistributive concerns matched to the needs of the population democracies should show a higher level of human development. In the following we analyze whether our theoretical expectations are supported by empirical facts. We perform a static panel analysis over the period of 1970 to 2003. The model confirms that living in a democratic system positively affects human development measured by life expectancy and literacy rates even controlling for GDP. By analyzing interaction effects we find that the performance of democracy is rather independent of the circumstances. JEL classification: I10, I20, H11

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@inproceedings{Vollmer2009PoliticalIA, title={Political Institutions and Human Development Does Democracy Fulfill its ’Constructive’ and ’Instrumental’ Role?}, author={Sebastian J. Vollmer and Maria Ziegler and Stephan Klasen and Mark Dincecco and Dierk Herzer and Tatyana Krivobokova and Inmaculada Mart́ınez-Zarzoso and Stefan Sperlich and Walter Zucchini}, year={2009} }