Leandro de la Escosura, Joan Rosés, Isabel Sanz Villarroya, 22 March 2010

Is democracy essential for economic growth? This column presents new evidence from General Franco’s 1959 Spanish Stabilisation Plan showing that a dictatorship can successfully implement major policy reforms. This also sheds light on the effectiveness of structural adjustment policies. Without the reforms, Spanish GDP per head in 1975 would have been lower by as much as one third.

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