Distinguished Lectures

The Growth Effect of Democracy: Is It Heterogenous and How Can It Be Estimated?

Publication Number: ECES-DLS32-E

May, 2011

Author : Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini

Type : Distinguished Lectures

Following decades of autocratic rule, Egypt has embarked on a challenge of transformation into a democracy, a move that has given rise to numerous questions, including the optimal political system that would satisfy rising aspirations for constitutional and governance reforms. At the core of the heated debate is the optimal political system to establish. The options vary between presidential versus parliamentarian systems.Advocates and opponents of each choice have focused on international experiences to cite examples of success or failure and inform the debate. However, most of the attention has been focused on the pros and cons of the political process, without adequately integrating these concerns into an economic framework that considers the implications of governance rules on economic decisions and the size of government.As we Egyptians embark on these challenges and seek to adopt the political system that best meets the country’s economic aspirations, we need to listen to expert views regarding the implications of available choices on short-term challenges and forward looking prospects,drawing on thorough analysis of leading international experiences.In this distinguished lecture, Professor Guido Tabellini, a leading expert in the field, sheds light on the challenges facing Egypt’s democratic transformation and informs the debate regarding reforming the country’s political system and its implications for efficient economic management.The discussion that followed his rich lecture was highly relevant and the answers provided by Professor Tabellini were insightful. Both the lecture and the discussion are included in this publication.