Democracy and Development
David Dollar has served as the World Bank's China Director and is currently the U.S. Treasury Department's Economic and Financial Emissary to China.
Before this assignment, Mr. Dollar worked as Director for the development research department of the World Bank, overseeing the Bank’s research on the investment climate and growth. He co-authored the recent World Bank reports Globalization, Growth, and Poverty and Assessing Aid. His earlier work focused on aid and growth, and the determinants of the success and failure of reform programs supported by structural adjustment lending. He has been a key World Bank spokesperson on investment climate, globalization, and the effectiveness of aid.
He has a PhD in economics from New York University and a B.A. in Chinese history and language from Dartmouth College.
Question: Does democracy necessarily evolve out of economic growth?
David Dollar: I like to look to history, and so as a fact we can say that every country that’s reached a certain level of per capita income has become democratic. And the only exceptions are the very oil-rich states. So Saudi Arabia has a very high per capita income without being democratic, but it’s only those countries sitting on huge reserves of oil that have achieved that. Countries that have become rich through a more diverse development of manufacturing and services, every one of them that’s reached a certain per capita income has become democratic. So as someone who was a historian before he was an economist, I find that pretty persuasive.
July 3, 2007
Does democracy necessarily develop out of economic growth?
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