1932

Abstract

Does democracy matter for normatively desirable outcomes? We survey results from 1,100 cross-country analyses drawn from 600 journal articles published after the year 2000. These analyses are conducted on 30 distinct outcomes pertaining to social policy, economic policy, citizenship and human rights, military and criminal justice, and overall governance. Across these diverse outcomes, most studies report either a positive or null relationship with democracy. However, there is evidence of threshold bias, suggesting that reported findings may reflect a somewhat exaggerated image of democracy's effects. Additionally, democratic effects are more likely to be found for outcomes that are easily attained than for those that lie beyond the reach of government but are often of great normative importance. We also find that outcomes measured by subjective indicators show a stronger positive relationship with democracy than outcomes that are measured or proxied by more objective indicators.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-polisci-060820-060910
2022-05-12
2024-06-13
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