DEMOCRACY, RENT SEEKING, PUBLIC SPENDING AND GROWTH

Does democratization imply faster growth, less corruption and less inefficiency? Past studies yield ambiguous results on the effects of democracy on economic performance and growth. We develop a simple two-sector endogenous growth model that shows both very young and mature democracies grow faster than countries in mid stages of democratization, producing a 'U' effect. This effect results from the pattern of rent seeking as it diverts from the provision of public goods. Rent-seekers act as monopolistic competitors. Initially, more democracy increases their number, raising aggregate rents. However, rents per rent-seeker fall with the number of rent seekers, aggregate rents fall in mature democracies. Thus, rents show an 'inverted-U' effects in relation to democracy. We find fairly robust supportive evidence for the latter.


Issue Date:
2001
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/12981
Total Pages:
22
Series Statement:
Bulletin 01-2




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-23

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