Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2011, 59, 81-88
Published online 2014-07-07

Political instability and economic growth: an empirical evidence from the Baltic states

Ladislava Grochová, Luděk Kouba

Ústav ekonomie, Mendelova univerzita v Brně, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Česká republika

For more than last 20 decades, new political economics has been dealing with theories of economic growth (for example influential contributions by Mancur Olson, Dani Rodrik). However, less attention has been paid to their empirical verification. The new political economics growth theory defines some factors that are necessary for economic growth among which political stability. Our aim is to test the theory focused on political stability empirically in order to enrich the studies with recent European results. The paper uses a single-equation model to reject a hypothesis that political stability is a necessary condition for economic growth finding a relationship between economic growth and political instability. A demonstration that political stability is not a crucial factor for economic development in general then represents the main goal of the contribution. There are distinguished two types of political instability – elite and non-elite – in topical literature. While non-elite political instability concerns about violent coups, riots or civil wars, elite political instability is represented with “soft changes” such as government breakdowns, fragile majority or minority governments. A number of government changes is used as a proxy of elite political instability. The disproof of the hypothesis is demonstrated on data from the Baltic states where number of government changes takes place and still fast economic growth could be seen within last two decades. Since it is shown that political instability has almost no impact on economic growth, we consider the hypothesis regarding a necessity of political stability for economic development to be only a specific non-generalizable case.


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