Democracy not good at helping poor people

Oct 19, 2006

A group of U.S. political scientists has concluded democracy may not be more beneficial to the poor than other political systems, contrary to prior findings.

The researchers examined mortality rates of children in 169 nations between 1970 and 2000, and found the global condition of the poor, measured by mortality rates, improved dramatically. However, the researchers found improvements in democratic states were about the same as improvements in non-democratic states.

"Most cross-national studies overlook non-democratic states with good economic and social records, which creates the false impression that democracies have outperformed non-democracies," said Michael Ross, an associate professor of political science at UCLA. "Once these and other flaws are corrected, (the studies show) democracy has little or no effect on child mortality rates."

Ross and his colleagues believe that while democracies generally spend more money on education and health, the improvements seem to benefit middle and upper-income groups, and do not translate to improvements for the poorer-class.

The research appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Political Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Sniffing out a partner at a London pheromone party

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest

Apr 03, 2014

In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government.

Researcher finds Canadian policing costs too high

Apr 01, 2014

According to a study by Queen's researcher Christian Leuprecht, if the cost of policing in Canada is to become more sustainable there must be a discussion surrounding the extent of police service and how these are delivered.

Kerry presses China to ease Internet controls

Feb 15, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday he urged Chinese leaders to support Internet freedom and promised to look into whether American companies help Beijing curb access to online material.

Recommended for you

How to win a Tour de France sprint

Jul 22, 2014

The final dash to the line in a Tour de France sprint finish may appear to the bystander to be a mess of bodies trying to cram into the width of a road, but there is a high degree of strategy involved. It ...

User comments : 0