Gross Democratic Product

Published on MoneyControl’s News Center, by Yasheng Huang, June 04, 2010.

In India, and even in China, growth has proven to be compatible with individual liberty … //

… China and India are unambiguous success stories of economic reforms and globalisation. This much we know and agree upon. Although scholars debate about the relative importance of different economic policies, to the extent there is any consensus, most would agree that the cumulative effects of the policy package adopted in the two countries have worked in delivering growth … // 

… (page 5): Until now, an economic argument for democracy often reads like an apology. Many Indian intellectuals defend democracy on the ground that not everything is about economics. Well, if you live under 1 dollar a day, pretty much everything is about economics. I believe that both statistical and narrative evidence is far stronger than has been assumed for the economic benefits of more democracy.

Nothing in this line of reasoning suggests that China should achieve the same level of democracy as India but it should move in that direction through gradual, incremental reforms. That democracy can be made compatible with economic growth is not a new idea, but we need a more rigorous version of that idea to guide Chinese and many others forward in the next 50 years. (full long 5 pages text).

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