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Untangling the Quality of Governance from the Level of Income: Are Sub-Saharan African Countries Governed Well?

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  • Erich Gundlach
  • Susanne Hartmann

Abstract

We consider whether Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries are mainly poor because they are governed worse than other countries, as suggested by recent studies on the supremacy of institutions. Our empirical results show that the supremacy of institutions does not hold. SSA countries appear to face very specific development problems. Given their geographic and economic constraints, we conclude that SSA countries are on average not governed worse than other comparable countries. Our finding supports the basic argument of a recent UN report (UN Millennium Project 2005). However, we find that the UN report is based on empirical evidence that appears to imply the supremacy of institutions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1241.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1241

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Keywords: Development; institutions; disease ecology; Sub-Saharan Africa;

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  1. Author-Name: Jeffrey D. Sachs & John W. McArthur & Guido Schmidt-Traub & Margaret Kruk & Chandrika Bahadur & Michael Faye & Gordon McCord, 2004. "Ending Africa's Poverty Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 117-240.
  2. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman, 1999. "A New Specification Test for the Validity of Instrumental Variables," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 99-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1997. "Explaining African economic performance," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-02.2, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  7. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2003. "Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996-2002," Development and Comp Systems 0308001, EconWPA.
  8. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  11. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  12. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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