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Interdependence, freedom and international convergence

Jorge Braga de Macedo

FEUNL Working Paper Series from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia

Abstract: The paper addresses the complex interaction between globalization, democracy and development, measured respectively by the KOF (Swiss Economic Institute) index, the Freedom House index and GDP per capita relative to the US. The approach follows from previous simultaneous estimates of the three variables for 92 countries between 1970 and 2005. The paper is organized in ten sections plus an introduction and a conclusion. Section 2 illustrates the effects of trade openness on the international transmission of business cycles. Section 3 uses the intellectual tradition of interdependence among OECD countries to motivate the interaction between reforms, elections and financial markets in section 4. Section 5 shows how culture matters for the efficiency of multilateral surveillance mechanisms. Section 6 questions the existence of interactions between globalization and governance across the board, using panel data in sections 7 and 8 to underline the historical and geographical specificities of developing countries. Section 9 brings historical and geographical factors to bear on the community of Portuguese-speaking countries (CPLP). An adaptation of the letter to the Queen on the crisis used by the British Academy in 2009 could be used to illustrate the « differentiality » of Portuguese-speaking countries. The conclusion is that, even for countries whose freedom index is around the non OECD mean, globalization and democracy can interact in such a way as to promote, rather than to threaten, international convergence. Additional material can be found in Democracy, Unlocked?, book of proceedings of the colloquium at the Royal Academy of Belgium, available at BAN under call number A13-004. JEL codes:

Pages: 35 pages
Date: 2014
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