Security

Development And Freedom As Risk Management

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Executive Summary

The author has argued that many development and freedom measures such as health, education, political and civil liberties are important constituents of human welfare. The author concur with conjecture that an important reason these measures affect human welfare is because they allow individuals to better cope with risk and uncertainty that cannot be hedged using market based insurance mechanisms. The author find some empirical support for this conjecture in that the volatility of consumption growth appears to be negatively related to life expectancy, political rights, and property rights (but is positively related to the rate of literacy) after controlling for the size of the country, per capita income, and openness to trade and capital flows, in cross-country panel regressions.

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