Democracy, Dictatorship, and Infant Mortality

Issue Date April 2000
Volume 11
Issue 2
Page Numbers 99-114
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The effect of economic development in reducing hunger is widely known, but what is the effect of a country’s political regime on the basic welfare of its inhabitants? Does it matter whether that country has an authoritarian or a democratic regime? The answer is yes. Any randomly selected country’s regime, regardless of its level of development, matters for its social performance. Fewer children die in democracies than in dictatorships.