Dr. Un Kheang, Associate Professor of Political Science, Northern Illinois University
About the Working Paper
The search for causes of economic development has long been central for economists, social scientists, and policy makers.Regime types have been singled out as major promoters or hindrances of economic development. Some argue that democracy is able to provide faster economic growth while others credit authoritarianism. The latter argument is made more attractive by the rise of China over the past four decades. So,what is the status of the debate on the relationship between regime type and economic development? What regime type should a developing country adopt? This brief essay provides a short summary of this debate by making the following points.The first point covers key favorable arguments for democratic regimes. The second addresses key favorable arguments for authoritarian regimes. The last point centers on the argument that regime type does not matter; what matters is the quality of government institutions.