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Democracy and human development : issues of conceptualization and measurement

Gerring, John ; Knutsen, Carl Henrik ; Maguire, Matthew ; Skaaning, Svend Erik ; Teorell, Jan LU and Coppedge, Michael (2021) In Democratization 28(2). p.308-332
Abstract

This study attempts to reconcile competing positions in an important debate about the relationship between regime type and human development. We contend that this empirical relationship is contingent upon issues of conceptualization and measurement in democracy. First, the relationship is more likely to be perceived when democracy is measured in a nuanced fashion, taking account of gradations of democracy and autocracy. Second, some aspects of democracy–those associated with competitive elections–are more strongly associated with human development than others. Third, the components of electoral democracy interact in a reinforcing manner. Finally, the impact of democracy on human development is a distal relationship that depends upon a... (More)

This study attempts to reconcile competing positions in an important debate about the relationship between regime type and human development. We contend that this empirical relationship is contingent upon issues of conceptualization and measurement in democracy. First, the relationship is more likely to be perceived when democracy is measured in a nuanced fashion, taking account of gradations of democracy and autocracy. Second, some aspects of democracy–those associated with competitive elections–are more strongly associated with human development than others. Third, the components of electoral democracy interact in a reinforcing manner. Finally, the impact of democracy on human development is a distal relationship that depends upon a country’s entire regime history. Our approach draws on several new datasets that interrogate change across a century, enhancing empirical leverage on this important question. To measure human development, we employ the Gapminder project, covering most sovereign countries from 1900 to 2012. To measure democracy, we draw on Varieties of Democracy data, which measure democracy in a highly differentiated fashion for most sovereign countries from 1900 to the present. An extensive set of analyses offer strong corroboration for the argument.

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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Democracy, elections, human development, infant mortality, institutions
in
Democratization
volume
28
issue
2
pages
308 - 332
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85091083453
ISSN
1351-0347
DOI
10.1080/13510347.2020.1818721
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ed99be0b-2a2d-404e-862e-84729dcfff34
date added to LUP
2021-01-13 14:46:03
date last changed
2021-04-08 15:41:26
@article{ed99be0b-2a2d-404e-862e-84729dcfff34,
  abstract     = {<p>This study attempts to reconcile competing positions in an important debate about the relationship between regime type and human development. We contend that this empirical relationship is contingent upon issues of conceptualization and measurement in democracy. First, the relationship is more likely to be perceived when democracy is measured in a nuanced fashion, taking account of gradations of democracy and autocracy. Second, some aspects of democracy–those associated with competitive elections–are more strongly associated with human development than others. Third, the components of electoral democracy interact in a reinforcing manner. Finally, the impact of democracy on human development is a distal relationship that depends upon a country’s entire regime history. Our approach draws on several new datasets that interrogate change across a century, enhancing empirical leverage on this important question. To measure human development, we employ the Gapminder project, covering most sovereign countries from 1900 to 2012. To measure democracy, we draw on Varieties of Democracy data, which measure democracy in a highly differentiated fashion for most sovereign countries from 1900 to the present. An extensive set of analyses offer strong corroboration for the argument.</p>},
  author       = {Gerring, John and Knutsen, Carl Henrik and Maguire, Matthew and Skaaning, Svend Erik and Teorell, Jan and Coppedge, Michael},
  issn         = {1351-0347},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {308--332},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Democratization},
  title        = {Democracy and human development : issues of conceptualization and measurement},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2020.1818721},
  doi          = {10.1080/13510347.2020.1818721},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2021},
}