I say yes, though I don’t think it is easy to prove. Here is part of the abstract, from Rui Tang and Shiping Tang:
We contend that the channel of liberty‐to‐innovation is the most critical channel in which democracy holds a unique advantage over autocracy in promoting growth, especially during the stage of growth via innovation. Our theory thus predicts that democracy holds a positive but indirect effect upon growth via the channel of liberty‐to‐innovation, conditioned by the level of economic development. We then present quantitative evidence for our theory.
Via the excellent Kevin Lewis.