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The Nonexistence of the cruel dilemma or the unlikely prosperity of the economic system of freedom in the absence of it

Eduardo Sanz-Arcega ()
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Eduardo Sanz-Arcega: University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain

No 1308, Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) from Asociación Española de Historia Económica

Abstract: The controversial relationship between the political system and economic growth induced Bhagwati to coin the concept of cruel dilemma to illustrate the tension that may exist between the economic freedoms and the political homonyms. Thus, and since then, the economic-institutional empirical literature has tried to outline the effect of democracy on the sustained increase in income, with disparate results. However, the very absence of an undisputed conclusion also from the perspective of the history of economic ideas has led, to the best of our knowledge, to the fact that the preference for a political system or another to achieve economic prosperity may turn into an axiologically based argument. This fact would, therefore, endorse the incorporation to the emphasis of the discussion of a double analysis, factual and theoretical-economic –owing to the classical postulates on which the central doctrinal body of the discipline is founded–, whose conjunction with the crucial importance of institutions for economic growth seemed to hide, ultimately, a simple idea. Namely: the indissolubility, on a long-term basis, between economic success and democracy.

Keywords: Cruel dilemma; economic liberties; political liberties; democracy; institutions; economic growth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E02 N3 K0 O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-hpe
Date: 2013-09
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