I haven't read the article, so everything that follows is speculation.

I don't believe that historical evidence supports this claim. For example,
former communist countries did not have high rates of population growth. I
don't know the numbers for Fascist Countries, but I don't think that the
rates were too high.

I believe that more variation in population growth could be explained by
looking at dominant religion than by looking at the form of government. Of
course, there is some correlation between dominant religion and the form of
government, which may lead to the conclusion that form of government and
population growth are correlated.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wei Dai" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 17:49 PM
Subject: fertility and government


> According to a recent article [1] in Harvard International Review, because
> of differences in fertility, the population growth rate in dictatorships
> is higher than that in democracies at every income level. It says "an
> average woman has one-half of a child more under dictatorship than under
> democracy." As a result of this faster population growth, dictatorships
> have greater GDP growth even though they have lower per capita GDP growth
> compared to democracies.
>
> This information leads me to ask a couple of questions:
>
> 1. Why is fertility higher in dictatorships? Do dictators like bigger
> populations, and democrats like smaller populations? Does population
> growth influence choice of government? Or is there a third factor that
> affects both fertility and form of government?
>
> 2. Should economists try to maximize GDP, or per capita GDP? If the former
> should they be supporting dictatorships?
>
> Another interesting piece of information in this article is that
> democratic regimes are more frequent in more developed countries, but it's
> not because those countries are more likely to become democracies. Rather
> it's because they are less likely to revert back to dictatorships. Among
> democracies that have collapsed, the one with the highest per capita
> income is Argentina in 1975 -- US$6055.
>
> [1] A Flawed Blueprint. By: Przeworksi, Adam. Harvard International
> Review, Spring2003, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p42.


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