La democracia viene en segundo lugar

Poco a poco, la democracia se está expandiendo por el mundo. Del Medio Oriente a América Latina y Asia, muchas autocracias están dando pasos graduales hacia una forma de gobierno más democrática y capaz de rendir cuentas de sus acciones, o se han convertido en democracias plenas. El gobierno de EE.UU. está decidido a consolidar las libertades políticas en varios países en desarrollo que se encuentran en su ámbito de influencia; de hecho, la expansión de la democracia se ha convertido en piedra angular de la política exterior estadounidense.

Hay muchas razones para celebrar el actual avance de la democracia. La democracia se relaciona con menos injusticia y abusos, con libertades ciudadanas y políticas básicas, y con una mayor sensibilidad por parte de los gobiernos frente a las verdaderas prioridades de sus ciudadanos. Pero, ¿cuán importante es la democracia para el éxito económico?

No mucho, según sugiere la evidencia empírica. Esto podría parecer sorprendente: después de todo, ¿no es verdad que prácticamente la totalidad de los países ricos tienen formas de gobierno democráticas, mientras los más pobres (principalmente en África) no son democracias? En efecto, en todo el mundo la democracia está estrechamente relacionada con un mayor ingreso per cápita.

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