This essay examines whether developing countries with competitive multiparty democracies may be just as capable of sustaining rapid economic growth as single-party states. It begins with a literature review identifying political stability and the ability to mobilize labor and capital production inputs as key factors behind sustained rapid growth. It then develops the hypothesis that under certain conditions, multiparty democracies may be strong in these dimensions, but ceteris paribus, single-party states are likely to have an advantage. I test this hypothesis by exploring historical trends in rapid growth over the last five decades. Statistical regression analysis confirms that most sustained high-growth regimes have not been competitive multiparty democracies. On a more optimistic note, however, the number of high-growth multiparty democracies increased significantly during the period between 2000 and 2009, signaling a possible breakthrough in the twenty-first century.
authoritarianism, democracy, economic growth, political regimes, single party states, political stability, developing countries
Economic Policy | Political Science
Taiwan Journal of Democracy
Taiwan Foundation for Democracy
JOSHI, Devin K..(2011). Multiparty democracies and rapid economic growth: A Twenty-first century breakthrough?. Taiwan Journal of Democracy, 7(1), 25-46.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2421
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