Summary of Does Democracy Stifle Economic Growth?

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Does Democracy Stifle Economic Growth? summary
Why has authoritarian China outperformed democratic India? Contrary to popular belief, political structure is irrelevant.


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Political scientist Yasheng Huang states his case for the role of democracy in economic growth. He explores the performance of both China and India in recent decades and refutes the notion that China’s one-party political structure is responsible for its success. Filled with engaging comparisons, Huang’s lecture offers an accessible, provocative alternative to the usual commentary on China’s miraculous growth. getAbstract recommends Huang’s arguments to scholars of economic history and to economy watchers who seek patterns in nations’ development.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why China has outperformed India in terms of economic growth since the 1970s,
  • Why comparing China’s success with India’s is futile and
  • How India is gaining momentum.


“Is democracy bad for economic growth?” To address this question, many scholars point to economic trends in India, a democracy, and in China, an authoritarian state. Since the late 1970s, China has outperformed India. Some credit China’s success to the
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About the Speaker

Political scientist Yasheng Huang founded the China and India Labs at MIT’s Sloan School of Business.

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