A. Does authoritarianism really work so well?
B. But studies have been based on very selective and limited information, rather than on any general statistical testing over the wide-ranging data that are available.
C. It is certainly true that some relatively authoritarian states, such as South Korea, Singapore, and post-reform China, have had faster rates of economic growth than many less authoritarian ones (such as India, Costa Rica or Jamaica).
D. Much depends on the precise circumstances.
E. We cannot really take the high economic growth of China or South Korea in Asia as “proof positive” that authoritarianism does better in promoting economic growth any more than we can draw the opposite conclusion on the basis of the fact that Botswana, the fastest-growing African country (and one of the fastest growing countries in the world), has been a oasis of democracy in that unhappy continent.