HKS Authors

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Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy


The relationship between a nation's politics and its economic prospects is one of the most fundamental, and most studied, subjects in all of social science. Which is better for economic growth: a strong guiding hand that is free from the pressure of political competition, or a plurality of competing interests that fosters openness to new ideas and new political players? East Asian examples (South Korea, Taiwan, China) seem to suggest the former. But how, then, can one explain the fact that almost all wealthy countries (except those that owe their riches to natural resources alone) are democratic? Should political openness precede, rather than follow, economic growth?


Rodrik, Dani. "The Myth of Authoritarian Growth." Nepal Times, January 28, 2011.