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Growth without Governance

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  • Daniel Kaufmann

    ()

  • Aart Kraay

    ()

Abstract

Per capita incomes and the quality of governance are strongly positively correlated across countries. We propose an empirical strategy that allows us to separate this correlation into: i) a strong positive causal effect running from better governance to higher per capita incomes, and ii) a weak and even negative causal effect running in the opposite direction from per capita incomes to governance. The first result confirms existing evidence on the importance of good governance for economic development. The second result is new and suggests the absence of virtuous circles" in which higher incomes lead to further improvements in governance. This motivates our choice of title, "Growth Without Governance". We document this evidence using a newly-updated set of worldwide governance indicators covering 175 countries for the period 2000/01, and use the results to interpret the relationship between incomes and governance in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. Finally, we speculate as to the potential importance of elite influence and state capture in accounting for the surprising negative effects of per capita incomes on governance, present some evidence on such capture in some Latin American countries, and suggest priorities for actions to improve governance when such pernicious elite influence shapes public policy."

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION in its journal JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA.

Volume (Year): (2002)
Issue (Month): ()
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Handle: RePEc:col:000425:008687

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Keywords: quality of governance; incomes; Latin America; Caribbean;

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  1. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," Working Papers 15, Center for Global Development.
  2. Goldberger, Arthur S, 1972. "Maximum-Likelihood Estimation of Regressions Containing Unobservable Independent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(1), pages 1-15, February.
  3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
  6. Rodrik, Dani, 1998. "Where Did all the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict and Growth Collapses," CEPR Discussion Papers 1789, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Simon Johnson & Peter Boone & Alasdair Breach & Eric Friedman, 1999. "Corporate Governance in the Asian Financial Crisis," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 297, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  8. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
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