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Democracies Dirty Little Secret (Low Per Capita Income Countries Never Remain Democracies)

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Akwaba, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. Akwaba

    Akwaba Senior Member

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    Mar 25, 2011
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    Low Per Capita Income Countries Never Remain Democracies. More recently Adam Przeworski of New York University confirmed this truism by studying every attempted transition to democracy around the globe. He and his colleagues found that once a country passes $6,000 in per capita income it is virtually guaranteed to succeed in its transition to democracy. States between $3,000 and $6,000 have less than a 50-50 chance of staying democracies. And countries below $3,000 are almost bound to fail.

    The probability that democracy survives increases monotonically with per capita income. Between 1951 and 1999, the probability that a democracy would fall during any particular year in countries with per capita income under US$1,000 was 0.089, implying that their expected life was about 11 years. With incomes in the range of US$1001 to US$3000, this probability was 0.037, for an expected duration of about 27 years. Between US$3001 and US$6055, the probability was 0.013, which translates into about 78 years of expected life. And above US$6055, democracies last forever.

    You might be wondering then: How did democracy survive in the United States in the 18th and 19th century when US per capita GDP was well below $3000? I think we have to do an adjustment for capital productivity. Basically, the living standards of even a messed up society can be higher than what Americans experienced in the 19th century because there are lots of cheap productivity-enhancing devices available today that will still enhance production in societies with a fair amount of corruption, less protection of property, and other shortcomings. Perhaps it is not the low per capita GDP itself that causes a democracy to fail but rather the same factors that cause the low per capita GDP also cause democracy to fail. A democratic society in the 19th century that didn't have those problematic factors present still would have had - at least by late 20th century standards - low per capita GDP. But it would have had the right cultural elements and other elements to maintain a democracy and to utilize scientific and technological advances.

    ParaPundit: Low Per Capita Income Countries Never Remain Democracies
     
  2. Ehud

    Ehud JF-Expert Member

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    Kwa mtazamo wangu hili linaukweli ndani yake
     
  3. Akwaba

    Akwaba Senior Member

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    Well this is just what the research says. Maybe the trick is to increase per capita income fast enough before dictatorship ensues. Or creating institutions present in a high gdp per capita country and respecting those institutions.
     
  4. e

    emalau JF-Expert Member

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    Which one should start? democracy or higher income per capita, and what about Libya?
     
  5. Kibanga Ampiga Mkoloni

    Kibanga Ampiga Mkoloni JF-Expert Member

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    Mar 25, 2011
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    Bahrain je?
     
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