Chapter 2 showed that democracies generally experience more rapid and consistent improvements in the well being of their populations than do autocracies. Yet, some experts still caution against promoting democracy in poor countries, arguing that embryonic democratic institutions in these societies are too fragile to survive, especially when they face economic hard times. This fear cannot be dismissed out of hand. From its inception in 2000, the 127-member Community of Democracies has warned repeatedly about the political consequences of economic stagnation. A slowing or declining economy in a country that has just started down the road to participatory politics not only undermines the popularity of political incumbents but also potentially tarnishes the appeal of democracy itself. Many new democracies inherit economies saddled with onerous debt servicing requirements, corrupt and patronage-based civil services, huge gaps between rich and poor, and widespread human suffering. Sluggish economic growth worsens each of these legacies. This chapter sifts the evidence behind the threat that economic adversity poses to fledgling democracies and examines the type of development that preserves a country’s commitment to democracy.