Headline, December 07 2023/ ''' VOTE PRICE VOCE '''



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THE PRICE OF A VOTE : DEMOCRACY IS OFTEN heralded as a solution to poverty. Yet becoming one is costly.

A TYPICAL ECONOMIST does have all that much in common with a typical  protester in a failing dictatorship. Dismal scientists favour cautious lessons, carefully crafted and suitable caveated, backed by decades of data and rigorous modelling.

Protesters need electrifying arguments and gargantuan promises about just how good life will be as soon as their aims are achieved, since that is how you recruit people to a cause. But the two groups share at least one trait. They both tend to be ardent democrats.

Democratic institutions are good for economic growth. That is one of the few things on which, after decades of probing the links between politics and prosperity, economists agree. Dictators may be able to control the state, its resources and much of the society.

But countries that have long-established elections and associated institutions also tend to have trustworthy governments, competent finance ministers and reliable legal systems.

In a paper published in 2019, Daren Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-authors split countries into dictatorships and democracies. They found that 25 years after making a permanent switch from the former camp to the latter, a country's GDP was one-fifth higher than it would otherwise have been.

The problem is making that switch takes longer and is more expensive than often assumed. Look beyond Mr. Acemoglu's black-and-white division. Allowsome countries to be more democratic than others  - after all, it makes little sense to put a centuries-old democracy in the same category as one finding its feet - and a different picture emerges.

In a study published last year, Nauro Campos of University College London and co-authors found that regimes faced problems while trying to get rid of autocratic tendencies.

On average, countries lose 20% of GDP per person in the 25 years after escaping dictatorship relative to their previous growth part, in part because many struggle with the transition to democracy. Today there are more such inbetween regimes than ever [87, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, our sister outfit].

Reliable institutions are a prerequisite for development, but democratic ones take a long time to build. Countries do not finish one day under a military dictator and start the next with a fully formed supreme court.

Civil services that know when to leave the private sector be, legalsy stems that protect property rights, and thriving charities and universities take decades to develop. Investors take even longer to be convinced. Democracies spend more on health and education, which pays off, but only after decades.

More immediately, overhauling politics shakes the economy. Few autocrats are sensible technocrats, but they stick around, while democratic progress comes in fits and starts, occasionally kicking into reverse.

Countries often need several new leaders and constitutions before reform sticks. There is always a risk that a democratic experiment will end in a coup, war or uprising. For businesses, making big bets on stability is often too much of a gamble.

Local ones do not want to get close to politicians and anger those who will be next in charge. Foreign creditors want to lend to a government that will still be around to pay them back.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on !WOW!, Democracy, Vote and Society, continues. The World Students Society thanks The Economist.

With most respectful dedication to Mankind, Leaders, the Global Founder Framers of !WOW! - and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. 

See You all prepare for Great Global Elections on The World  Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter X !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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