Democracy not good at helping poor people

October 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: Responses to terror attacks helping to fuel Islamophobia in society

Related Stories

Half of mayoral elections in six US states are unopposed

May 24, 2017

Approximately half of mayoral elections in six U.S. states are unopposed, and unopposed elections are on the rise, according to a report from the Center for Local Elections in American Politics (LEAP), part of Rice University's ...

Recommended for you

Predicting the future with the wisdom of crowds

June 23, 2017

Forecasters often overestimate how good they are at predicting geopolitical events—everything from who will become the next pope to who will win the next national election in Taiwan.

UN says world population will reach 9.8 billion in 2050

June 22, 2017

India's population is expected to surpass China's in about seven years and Nigeria is projected to overtake the United States and become the third most populous country in the world shortly before 2050, a U.N. report said ...

Authenticity key to landing a new job

June 22, 2017

At job interviews, relax and be yourself - if you're good, being yourself may be the best way to secure a job offer, according to a new study involving UCL researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.