Sah (1991) conjectured that more centralized societies should have more volatile economic performances than less centralized ones. We show in this paper that this is true both for cross–country and within–country variability in growth rates. It is also true for some measures of policies. Finally, we show that both the best and worst performers in terms of growth rates are more likely to be autocracies. We argue that the evidence in the paper is consistent with the theoretical implications in Sah and Stiglitz (1991) and Rodrik (1999a)
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