Public debate key to stable economic growth

London, June 11 (IANS) Stifling public deliberation can have serious consequences not only for the health of a democracy but also for its economy, says a new study by Indian-origin researchers.

Taking into account the pros and cons raised by citizens will lead to policies that do a better job of regulating the economy and allocating resources. The end result is stable economic growth, said the study published in the British Journal of Political Science.

“Our study demonstrates that freedom to express our opinions is not just something we should enjoy,” said one of the researchers Siddharth Chandra, professor at Michigan State University in the US.

“It could have very important consequences – sometimes preventing the economy from going in a direction that’s detrimental to the people,” said Chandra who conducted the study with Nita Rudra, associate professor at Georgetown University in the US.

The study measured the influence of public deliberation on economic performance. Public deliberations can range from open discussions with all stakeholders to protests to public hearings.

The researchers studied the economic performance of 112 countries, taking into account whether governments allow public deliberation.

“We suggest that if you want to have policies that lead to outcomes that are stable and positive, you want to have a system in which there’s a lot of deliberation,” Chandra said.

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