Seminar CRENoS DECA - Stephen Parente

08/06/2011 - 14:00 to 16:00


Aula Magna, Facoltà di Economia

Viale Sant'Ignazio 74, Cagliari 


Presentation of paper

Democracy as a middle ground: a unified theory of developments and political regimes



Speaker - Visiting Professor


Stephen Parente - Un. Urbana-Champagne





A large literature documents that autocratic regimes have not, on average, outperformed democratic regimes, although they do display greater variance in economic performance. At the same time, no long-lived autocracy currently is rich whereas every long-lived democracy is. This paper puts forth a theory to account for these observations. The theory rests on the idea that autocratic leaders are heterogenous in their preferences and the idea that special interest groups can successfully lobby a democratic regime for policies that delay industrialization. We show that an elite landed class chooses to democratize society only after the economy has accumulated enough wealth.






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