This project aims to contribute to the literature on the political determinants of growth in three ways:
- Attempting to understand the political drivers of within-country growth.
- Using the conceptual frameworks developed in ESID Working Paper 5 and ESID Working Paper 16 to examine the validity of testable hypotheses derived from the framework and reading of the wider literature on the politics of growth.
- Looking at what political factors drive the inclusiveness of growth.
Bangladesh, Ghana, Malawi and Uganda. These four countries have already experienced growth accelerations and are at an ‘incipient’ phase of growth maintenance. The case studies will be both retrospective and prospective.
- What are the political drivers of growth accelerations? Are these more related to informal institutions of credible commitment and patron-client networks, and the move from disordered to ordered deals in the institutions space?
- What are the political drivers of growth sustenance and growth collapses? Are these more related to the emergence (or non-emergence) of formal institutions, and the move in the institution spaces from closed to open deals to rules? What role do the provision of public goods and the overcoming of co-ordination failures play in the ‘locking in’ of growth maintenance and of successful structural transformation?
- What explains the transition from political equilibrium characterising a growth acceleration to an equilibrium characterising a growth sustenance? To what extent is this transition a function of the structure of rents across the product space, and the evolution of the product space over time? What roles do elite commitment to the emergence of formal institutions and to open deals, and elite investment in bureaucratic capability play in this transition? What is the role of growth coalitions in this transition?
- How do economic and political institutions jointly evolve from the set of institutions that are causal to growth accelerations to the set of institutions that allow growth to be maintained? To what extent is the transition endogenous?
- How does poverty and inequality evolve across growth acceleration and growth maintenance? To what extent is the behaviour of poverty and inequality conditional on the emergence of inclusive economic and political institutions, and the inclusiveness of the political settlement?
Methods and research design
The project will be undertaken in four stages.
- Stage I: Periodisation of growth regimes.
- Stage II: Putting together the descriptives.
- Stage III: Country case studies.
- Stage IV: Cross-country econometric analysis.
The project combines quantitative and qualitative methods, triangulating the qualitative methods primarily used in the country case-studies with the quantitative methods used in the cross-country analysis. Data collection will take the form of elite and firm interviews, as well as analysis of key policy documents. For the country case-studies, secondary data will also be used from government statistical agencies and World Bank assessments/surveys. Context specificity and parameter heterogeneity will be applied when testing the hypotheses set out in the proposal.
How does this project fit within ESID’s research agenda?
This project is part of programme 3, ‘the politics of accumulation’. It aims to fill the gap in the literature, which currently focuses on ‘what’ policies and institutions are conducive to growth with a limited understanding of ‘how’ political processes shape the emergence and maintenance of these policies.
|Lead Researcher||Kunal Sen||The University of Manchester, UK|
|Researcher||Pritish Behuria||The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK|
|Researcher||Markus Eberhardt||The University of Nottingham, UK|
|Researcher||Thomas Goodfellow||The University of Sheffield, UK|
|Researcher||Mirza Hassan||BRAC Development Institute (BDI), Bangladesh|
|Researcher||Sabyashachi Kar||Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), India|
|Researcher||Robert Osei||Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, Ghana|
|Researcher||Lant Pritchett||Harvard University, USA|
|Researcher||Selim Raihan||South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM), Bangladesh|
|Researcher||Jonathan Said||Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, Liberia|
Sen, K., Pritchett, L., Kar, S. and Raihan, S. (2016). ‘Democracy versus dictatorship: The political determinants of growth episodes‘. ESID Working Paper 70.
Behuria, P. and Goodfellow, T. (2016). ‘The political settlement and “deals environment” in Rwanda: Unpacking two decades of economic growth‘, ESID Working Paper 57.
Osei, R. D., Ackah, C. , Domfe, G. and Danquah, M. (2015). Political settlements, the deals environment and economic growth: The case of Ghana‘, ESID Working Paper 53.
Sen, K., Kar, S. and Sahu, J. P. (2014). ‘The political economy of economic growth in India,
1993-2013‘. ESID Working Paper 44.
Said, J. and Singini, K. (2014). ‘The political economy determinants of economic growth in Malawi‘, ESID Working Paper 40.
Pritchett, L., Sen, K., Kar, S. and Raihan, S. (2013). ‘Trillions gained and lost: estimating the magnitude of growth episodes’. ESID Working Paper 26.
Pritchett, L. and Werker, E. (2012). ‘Developing the guts of a Grand Unified Theory: elite commitment and inclusive growth’, ESID Working Paper 16.
Sen, K. (2012). ‘The political dynamics of economic growth’, ESID Working Paper 5.
Kar, S., Pritchett, L., Raihan, S. and Sen, K. (2013). The Dynamics of Economic Growth. A Visual Handbook of Growth Rates, Regimes, Transitions and Volatility (Manchester: ESID).
Sen, K. (2016). ‘Democracy and growth: How are they related?‘ ESID blog, 8 December.
Behuria, P. and Goodfellow, T. (2016). ‘The political determinants of miracle growth in Rwanda‘, ESID blog, 11 November.