Coalition Politics and Economic Development

Coalition Politics and Economic Development

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Irfan Nooruddin
Cambridge University Press, 02/12/2010
EAN 9780521138758, ISBN10: 0521138752

Hardcover, 266 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.6 cm

Coalition Politics and Economic Development challenges the conventional wisdom that coalition government hinders necessary policy reform in developing countries. Irfan Nooruddin presents a fresh theory that institutionalized gridlock, by reducing policy volatility and stabilizing investor expectations, is actually good for economic growth. Successful national economic performance, he argues, is the consequence of having the right configuration of national political institutions. Countries in which leaders must compromise to form policy are better able to commit credibly to investors and therefore enjoy higher and more stable rates of economic development. Quantitative analysis of business surveys and national economic data together with historical case studies of five countries provide evidence for these claims. This is an original analysis of the relationship between political institutions and national economic performance in the developing world and will appeal to scholars and advanced students of political economy, economic development and comparative politics.

'Democracies are often portrayed as good for human freedom but a constraint on economic growth, as contending parties and interest groups fight over resources and checks and balances delay difficult policy choices. Nooruddin casts doubt on this skeptical view, showing that incorporating diverse interests - which only democracies can ultimately do - restrains bad decisions, encourages investment and curbs economic volatility as a result. An important contribution to the literature on institutions and long-run economic performance.' Stephan Haggard, Krause Distinguished Professor, University of California, San Diego