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|February 15, 1999||
Amartya flays theory linking non-democratic systems and growth
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen today strongly criticised the view that non-democratic systems are more effective in bringing about economic growth, saying that such an assertion does not stand up to empirical examination.
Delivering a keynote address at the global conference on democracy in New Delhi, Prof Sen said there is no convincing evidence that authoritarian governance and the suppression of political and civil rights are really beneficial in encouraging economic development.
He said high economic growth of Singapore or China cannot be taken as a ''definitive proof'' that authoritarianism does better in promoting economic growth -- any more than the opposite conclusion can be drawn on the basis of the fact that the country with the best record of economic growth in Africa, that is Botswana, has been an oasis of democracy in that continent, over the decades.
''We need more systematic studies to sort out the claims and counterclaims,'' he said. Prof Sen took exception to the notion of former President Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and some others that non democratic systems are more effective in achieving high growth.
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