The following paper compares government type and economic performance among sixteen countries in the eight regions of the world. Generally, it is believed that democratic countries are likelier to have better economic growth and performance. It is important to note that there are specific countries that are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, government and economic performance have a reciprocal effect on each other. The relationship is more of an interdependence than a direct result of the government’s sole influence on the economy.
Beginning with the European Region, Belgium’s form of government is a Federal Parliamentary Democracy under a Constitutional Monarchy. This form of government is considered a democracy, in that the people elect officials in their government. The King, however, is appointed for life and is “hereditary and constitutional” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013). According to the Index of Economic Freedom (2014), Belgium scores a 69.9 on economic freedom, making it the 35th freest economy in the world. Although Belgium is ranked 17th among the 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the regional and global averages, its economic freedom has remained economically stagnant over the years. In the latter half of the 2000’s, Belgium’s economy was considered “mostly free”, but since 2011, has moved to “moderately free”. The CIA World Factbook addresses this change as a result of Belgium’s lack of natural resources, causing them to import substantial quantities of raw materials and export a large volume of manufactures. This, unfortunately, leaves the economy of Belgium extremely vulnerable to the instability of world markets (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013).
Italy, also in the region of Europe, uses a republic form of government, and has been a democratic republic since June 2, 1946, when the monarchy was abolished by popular referendum. The constitution came into force on January 1, 1948 (GlobalEdge, 2014). Italy’s economy is extremely diversified with a developed, industrial north, and a less-developed, agricultural south, where there is high unemployment. Additionally, Italy has a large underground economy that represents at least 17% of GDP. Although Italy is the third-largest economy in the euro-zone, it has extremely high public debt that rose to 126% of GDP in 2012, which leaves it vulnerable to scrutiny from financial markets. However, the government has undertaken several reform initiatives designed to increase long-term economic growth. Italy's GDP is now 7% below its 2007 pre-crisis level (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013).
Armenia and Russia are in the region of Russia and the Near Abroad. Both countries use a republic form of government and are considered democracies on the face of their political rights. Both countries have the right to vote for their political officials, but there is corruption that exists within the electoral process. For example, in Armenia, the...