Trade Economics Department's Leture


Theme:Is Democracy Good for Growth? — Institutional Quality Matters

Speaker:Huang Fali (Singapore Management University)

Time:2019-06-14 14:30

Address:Room 1008, Mingde Business Building



The level of economic development during democratization exerts long-lasting effects on growth, possibly by giving permanent birthmarks to newly minted institutions. This paper finds that democracies born in weak development tend to have weak institutions and slow growth, while in contrast, those with adequate development at the political transition time establish strong institutions and achieve faster growth. Salient differences between them also exist in other dimensions such as population growth rates and populism tendencies. These results are based on data in 1960-2010 and robust to various specifications and endogeneity issues. The paper shows that without appropriate development, democratization does not facilitate growth.
Keywords: Democracy, Growth, Economic Development, Institutions, Democratization, Modernization, Human Capital.

Short biography:
Huang Fali is an Associate Professor at School of Economics in Singapore Management University. Her research focuses on the political economy of development and growth, covering a broad range of topics including democratization and growth, education and trade patterns, informal and legal contract enforcement, as well as applied microeconomics topics such as employee screening and monitoring, social trust, child development, marital choices, and old age support. Huang received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Economics from Renmin University of China.
Selected Publications:
Chang, Pao-Li and Fali Huang. 2014. “Trade and Divergence in Education Systems.” International Economic Review 55 (4), 1251-84.
Huang, Fali. 2013. “Contract Enforcement: A Political Economy Model of Legal Development.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 29 (4), 835-870.
Huang, Fali. 2012. “The Coevolution of Economic and Political Development from Monarchy to Democracy.” International Economic Review 53 (4), 1341-68.
Huang, Fali. 2012. “Why Did Universities Precede Primary Schools? A Political Economy Model of Educational Change.” Economic Inquiry 50 (2), 418-34.
Huang, Fali, Ginger Jin, and Colin Xu. 2012. “Love and Money by Parental Match-Making: Evidence from Urban Couples in China.” American Economic Review papers & proceedings 102, 555-560.
Huang, Fali and Peter Cappelli. 2010. “Applicant Screening and Performance-Related Outcomes.” American Economic Review papers & proceedings 100, 214–18.


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