Liberal republics offer many advantages over other systems, including and beyond freedom.
They are richer and happier. Most mature democracies are wealthier on average than most non-democracies because of a competitive policy environment, more successful business innovation, more education, and more public goods. The net impact is that people are happier in liberal republics than they are elsewhere, a shown in the figure above.
Note: CFFAD is not claiming that liberal, republican democracies are perfect. We know our system could be better. We know many people deserve better than they get. We are saying, however, that the incentives built into liberal, republican democracies are much less corrupt, more inclusive, better at problem-solving, provide more stability, provide more amenities, and lead to more wealth and happiness than other systems of government.
 There is good evidence that democracy encourages income growth. See Acemoglu, D., Naidu, S., Restrepo, P., and Robinson, J. A. (2014). Democracy does cause growth (No. w20004). National Bureau of Economic Research.
Lipset (1959) argued the causation is the other way around. In fact, both are possible: democracy may encourage growth, while higher levels of wealth make democracy easier to achieve.
 Holmberg and Rothstein (2014), page 30.
Excerpted from Democracy is Precious.