دینامیک سیاسی رشد اقتصادی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16651||2013||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 47, July 2013, Pages 71–86
We argue that an understanding of the political drivers of economic growth needs an explanation of the political dynamics around the transition from one growth phase to another, and that the political drivers of early stage growth accelerations are different from that of growth maintenance. Informal institutions are likely to play a role in growth acceleration, while formal institutions of credible commitment, the provisioning of public goods and the overcoming of co-ordination failures will be more important in growth maintenance. We present empirical evidence drawn from country case-studies and cross-country econometric analysis that provides support to our theoretical propositions.
The process of economic growth and why there are such significant differences in living standards across countries is one of the most important and challenging areas of research in economic development. An early tradition in the very large literature that exists on the determinants of economic growth was mostly focused on understanding the proximate determinants of economic growth, and in particular, the role of human and physical capital accumulation, technological change, and productivity growth in explaining economic growth. However, as North and Thomas (1973) noted, such proximate determinants or correlates of economic growth “are not causes of growth; they are growth” (p. 2). A more recent literature has gone beyond these proximate determinants and attempted to understand the fundamental causes of economic growth—“the factors potentially affecting why societies make different technology and accumulation choices” ( Acemoglu, 2009, p. 20). Institutions and geography are widely regarded as the two most important fundamental causes of economic growth (Acemoglu et al., 2001 and Sachs, 2003). While these two factors are not necessarily mutually exclusive causes of economic growth, a large empirical literature has shown that institutions—understood as the formal and informal rules that constrain economic and social behavior—trump geography as the dominant cause of long-run improvements in standards of living. While this literature identifies the causal effect of regulations, laws and norms on economic incentives, and in particular, on the incentives to invest in the technology, physical capital and human capital that are proximate determinants of economic growth, it also recognizes that these economic institutions are in large part politically determined, and ultimately reflect choices made and decisions taken by society at large or by some powerful groups in the society. A very new literature has been analyzing why in certain political contexts, growth-enhancing economic institutions emerge and why we see the persistence of growth-impeding economic institutions in many developing countries for long periods of time. In this paper, we assess what we know (and what we do not know) about the role of political factors in explaining why some countries economies grow faster than others. We begin with a fresh look at the “stylized facts” of economic growth. We identify an important limitation in the past literature on economic growth in that their focus on rates of average growth of per capita income has obscured the fact that most countries observe dramatic fluctuations in growth of per capita income. Most developing countries tend to observe stop–go growth episodes, with growth accelerations followed by growth decelerations or collapses. We argue that an understanding of the political drivers of economic growth needs an explanation of the political dynamics around the transition from one growth phase to another—that is, the political determinants of growth accelerations, growth maintenance, and growth declines/collapses. We then propose a conceptual framework to understand the political channels of economic growth around the transitions from one growth phase to another phase. In developing this framework, we argue that the political drivers of early stage growth accelerations are different from the political drivers of growth maintenance. Next, we use this framework to review the recent theoretical literature on the political determinants of economic growth and relate our conceptual framework to this literature. We then review the empirical basis of our approach to the politics of economic growth, and find suggestive evidence both in qualitative case-studies and in the cross-country econometric literature that supports the main propositions of our approach. The rest of the paper is structured as follows. We first set out the “stylized facts” of economic growth in Section 2. In Section 3, we sketch out our preferred framework by which to understand the “stylized facts” of economic growth. In Section 4, we review the theoretical literature on the political and institutional determinants of growth through the lens of our framework. Section 5 surveys the empirical literature on the political and institutional determinants of economic growth as well as provides further evidence to support our conceptual approach. Section 6 concludes, and proposes a set of issues that should inform future research on the political drivers of economic growth.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper, we assessed what we know about the role of political factors in explaining why some countries grow faster than others. We began with a fresh look at the “stylized facts” of economic growth, and identified an important limitation in the past literature on the stylized facts of growth in that their focus on rates of average growth of per capita income, has obscured the fact most countries observe dramatic fluctuations in growth of per capita income. We suggested that there is a need to shift away from much of the previous literature’s emphasis on the determinants of long-run average economic growth (including political determinants), to an understanding of the determinants of switches from one growth phase to another. We proposed that the key question that a research agenda on the political drivers of economic growth must address is an understanding of the political dynamics around the transition from one growth phase to another. We then developed a conceptual framework for understanding the political dynamics of growth transitions. We discussed three key political channels to economic growth—institutions of credible commitment, the provision of public goods, and the overcoming of coordination failures. We argued that these three channels play out differently across different phases of economic growth. Institutions of credible commitment may be a necessary and sufficient channel to early stage growth accelerations while contributing to growth maintenance as well. Informal institutions of credible commitment may play a more important role in early stage growth accelerations, as opposed to formal institutions which may be more important in growth maintenance. The provision of public goods would be more important in growth maintenance, and can be expected to play a less significant role in growth acceleration. The overcoming of coordination failures would be more important in growth maintenance, though it can also play some role in growth accelerations. We reviewed two dominant theories of the politics of growth—those of Acemoglu and Robinson and of Khan. Both these theories have strong similarities in their emphasis on institutions being the key drivers of growth, and on the political roots of growth-enhancing or impeding institutions. Both theories take us quite a way forward in enhancing our understanding of the political drivers of growth acceleration and maintenance. However, neither Acemoglu–Robinson nor Khan is able to provide a unified theory of understanding the political drivers of growth acceleration as well of growth maintenance/noncollapse. There is a need for further theoretical development around the explanation of the political transitional dynamics around switches from one growth phase to another that encompass both growth accelerations and growth maintenance. We then reviewed the empirical basis of our conceptual framework on understanding the political dynamics of economic growth. Our review of country case-studies provided examples of countries such as Korea and Thailand which had witnessed early stage growth accelerations in the absence of formal institutions and high levels of bureaucratic capacity, but where informal institutions around patron–client networks seemed to underpin the growth acceleration process. In both countries, the role of the state in overcoming of co-ordination failures and in the case of Korea, the provision of high quality public goods, were important for growth maintenance. We also discussed the case of Indonesia where the lack of a move away from patron–client networks may explain why growth collapsed, even after several years of positive growth. We also argued that while the cross-country econometric literature on institutions and growth suggest that there is a positive relationship between institutional quality and the long-run level of per capita income, there is less support for the proposition that better formal economic and political institutions are either necessary or sufficient to obtain growth accelerations. Our review of the emerging quantitative literature on the determinants of growth accelerations and growth maintenance supports this conclusion—these studies find that reforms in formal economic institutions do not seem to be associated with growth accelerations. However, this literature also finds that a country which has witnessed growth acceleration is more likely to stay in a high growth phase and not suffer a growth decline if better quality formal institutions were to emerge in the growth process. Finally, we presented statistical evidence drawn from a cross-country econometric analysis of growth acceleration and growth maintenance that further reinforces our main proposition that the institutional determinants of growth accelerations are different from that of growth maintenance. Both our review of the theoretical and empirical literature as well as the statistical evidence that we provide in this paper supports our key proposition that the political drivers of early stage growth acceleration are different from the political drivers of growth maintenance. However, the empirical evidence we present in the paper is suggestive and not conclusive of our main arguments on the different roles that political channels to growth—informal and formal institutions of credible commitment, the provision of public goods and the overcoming of co-ordination failures—play across different phases of economic growth. From a theoretical standpoint, we need to understand better why patron–client networks are growth-enhancing in some countries and growth impeding in others. We also need to understand some countries are able to move from informal to formal institutions of credible commitment and others are not able to make this transition, and why political elites have an incentive to invest in state capacity that allows for the provision of high quality public goods and the overcoming of co-ordination failures in some country contexts and not in others. From an empirical standpoint, we need more structured comparative case-studies of countries which have witnessed a growth acceleration versus countries which have not, and of countries where growth once started has not collapsed versus countries which have observed an acceleration in growth only to see it decline it later, to establish how the political channels to growth differed in their effects on growth in these countries and across growth phases. We also need more robust econometric evidence of the political drivers of economic growth that can explain both the political determinants of growth accelerations as well of growth maintenance and growth collapse, and that captures the high volatility of economic growth within countries and over time. The literature on the determinants of economic growth has moved a long way from being pre-occupied by proximate determinants of growth to more fundamental causes such as economic institutions, which in turn are increasingly seen to be shaped by political factors. The task of future research in this area should be to better understand why it is rare to see growth episodes being sustained in the developing world, and how political processes and institutions can explain the differential success that developing countries have, both in igniting economic growth and in transforming growth accelerations to growth sustenance.