Title

Democracy and economic development

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Hong Kong Economic Papers

Publication Date

1-1-1994

Volume

23

First Page

63

Last Page

65

Abstract

Government can be “predatory” in nature—that is, they tax the private sector for the benefit of the powerful people in the government as discussed in Professor Leslie Young’s recent paper. While this by nature is redistribution in favour of the government officials it will hurt production and is clearly harmful to the private sector, whether the extractions are in the form of taxes or in the form of corruption. Institutional arrangements that protect the private sector from harassment by the government are favourable to economic development. A free press, an independent ombudsman installed with authority, a “commissioner for administrator complaints”, an “ICAC”, etc., are part of an institutional framework that can serve this purpose. Democratic institutions, in particulars a representative government, may also serve the purpose. Democratic institutions, in particulars a representative government, may also serve the purpose. In practice, however, democratic institutions do not have a better performance record than the other mechanisms mentioned above to combat predatory behavior by the state.

Print ISSN

00184578

Recommended Citation

Ho, S. L. (1994). Democracy and economic development. Hong Kong Economic Papers, 23, 63-65.

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