The Myth of the Democratic Advantage

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19 Scopus citations


Existing research points to a democratic advantage in public good provision. Compared to their authoritarian counterparts, democratically elected leaders face more political competition and must please a larger portion of the population to stay in office. This paper provides an impartial reevaluation of the empirical record using the techniques of global sensitivity analysis. Democracy proves to have no systematic association with a range of health and education outcomes, despite an abundance of published empirical and theoretical findings to the contrary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-277
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in Comparative International Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Authoritarianism
  • Democracy
  • Public good provision
  • Regime type
  • Sensitivity analysis


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