The value of democracy in the world’s poorest region: Evidence from Kenya’s road building

Ameet Morjaria, 5 February 2014

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An enormous literature points to a diverse set of factors behind Africa’s growth tragedy, ranging from bad policies, poor education, and poor infrastructure, to aging leaders, the historic slave trade, and political instability.

Topics: Development, Institutions and economics, Politics and economics
Tags: Africa, autocracy, democracy, ethnic inequality, public finance

Costing secrecy

Mark Harrison, 15 January 2014

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From public finance to climate change, democracy looks to be in trouble. In many Western countries, political decisions are gridlocked while economic, social, and environmental imbalances accumulate. Our leaders juggle public opinion, private lobbies, and expert advice while trying to live within past promises and present legal obligations.

Topics: Economic history, Politics and economics
Tags: autocracy, democracy, dictatorship, secrecy, Soviet Union, transaction costs

Democracy in Africa

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 17 November 2013

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A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Until the second half of the 19th century, there were so few democratic states around the world that they could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Topics: Development, Economic history, Politics and economics
Tags: Africa, anocracy, autocracy, Corruption, democracy, education, fertility, growth, life expectancy

Oil and democracy: New insights

Francesco Caselli, Andrea Tesei, 22 December 2011

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Looking at the historical experiences of many countries it seems uncontroversial that an abundance of natural resources can shape political outcomes.

Topics: Energy, Politics and economics
Tags: autocracy, democracy, natural resources, oil

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