Accounts of history often give credit to great leaders who presided over episodes of high economic growth. With high levels of variation in economic growth across space and time, it can appear that a key to economic growth is finding quality leadership. Further, some have put forth the idea that autocrats can be more effective than democratic leaders because they have to deal with less red tape. History is full of bad autocrats, but is it possible that a good autocrat can cause prosperity? With all the variables that can affect economic growth, how much does a leader influence the economic performance of a given area? William Easterly of New York University and DRI talks with us on this episode about how much credit we can give leaders in explaining economic growth.
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