Human Rights and Economic Growth

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This report is part of MATTERS OF CONCERN – a working paper series focusing on new and emerging research on human rights across academic disciplines. This report seeks to answer the question whether human rights have a positive effect on economic growth, and therefore are not only the right thing to do in normative terms but also the smart thing to do in economic terms. The analysis finds that there is a significant causal effect from freedom and participation rights to economic growth, when accounting for the respect for these rights 10-15 years back in time. In contrast, we find no significant causal relation for the reverse directional flow, running from economic growth to freedom and participation rights. This means that the strengthening of freedom and participation rights does not represent a cost in terms of economic growth. This analysis can be seen as a stepping stone towards a greater understanding of how human rights affect our societies. The report is available for download here.

Source: The Danish Institute for Human Rights 

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