With the goal of freeing the world from poverty, some Western authorities have consistently insisted on promoting democracy in totalitarian states in the past decades. Seeing that democratic political system are stably established more and more in many countries, an opportunity arises to determine the effects of democracy on economic development. Taking advantage of this fact, this paper attempts to explore whether or not democracy contributes largely to prosperity of a nation. The conclusion is that, whereas democracy acts as a catalyst that influences prosperity in many already well-to-do nations, democracy per se is not significantly beneficial to low initial income countries. Another interesting point found in this study is that the Western colonialism tends to be one of the most significant factors in explaining poor economic development in many regions of the world today.
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