IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The growth effects of institutional instability


We study the effects of institutional instability on growth. Using principal components analysis, we construct measures of institutional quality and instability from the political risk index of the International Country Risk Guide. A panel-data analysis of 132 countries during 1984–2004 reveals that institutional quality, especially with regard to the legal system and the protection of property rights, is positively linked to growth. As for institutional instability, we find evidence of a positive relationship in rich countries but a negative link in poor countries, suggesting that instability may reduce problems of institutional sclerosis in the former and that instability primarily entails an increase in transactions costs and uncertainty in the latter.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to article abstract page
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Institutional Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2012)
Issue (Month): 02 (June)
Pages: 187-224

in new window

Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:8:y:2012:i:02:p:187-224_00
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK

Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Marie-Ange Veganzones & A. Aysan & M.K. Nabli, 2006. "Governance Institutions and Private Investment: An application to the Middle East and North Africa," Post-Print hal-00199091, HAL.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Özler, Sule & Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
  3. Ari Aisen & Francisco José Veiga, 2005. "Does Political Instability Lead to Higher Inflation? A Panel Data Analysis," IMF Working Papers 05/49, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Claessens, Stijn & Laeven, Luc, 2002. "Financial Development, Property Rights and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3295, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Christian Daude & Ernesto Stein, 2007. "The Quality Of Institutions And Foreign Direct Investment," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 317-344, November.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ian Vá¡squez, 2002. "A Retrospective on the Mexican Bailout," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 21(3), Winter.
  8. Bruno Merlevede & Koen Schoors, 2007. "On the Speed of Economic Reform - A Tale of the Tortoise and the Hare: Evidence from Transition Countries," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 29-50.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  10. Fölster, Stefan & Henrekson, Magnus, 2000. "Growth Effects of Government Expenditure and Taxation in Rich Countries," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 391, Stockholm School of Economics.
  11. Berggren, Niclas, 2003. "The Benefits of Economic Freedom: A Survey," Ratio Working Papers 4, The Ratio Institute.
  12. repec:cto:journl:v:21:y:2002:i:3:p:415-426 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Aymo Brunetti & Beatrice Weder, 1998. "Investment and institutional uncertainty: A comparative study of different uncertainty measures," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 134(3), pages 513-533, September.
  14. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl, 2006. "Free to Trust: Economic Freedom and Social Capital," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 141-169, 05.
  15. Addison, Tony & Baliamoune-Lutz, Mina, 2006. "Economic reform when institutional quality is weak: The case of the Maghreb," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 1029-1043, December.
  16. Butkiewicz, James L. & Yanikkaya, Halit, 2006. "Institutional quality and economic growth: Maintenance of the rule of law or democratic institutions, or both?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 648-661, July.
  17. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/229724, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. Glaeser, Edward L. & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Scholarly Articles 27867242, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
  20. Joshua Aizenman & Nancy Marion, 1991. "Policy Uncertainty, Persistence and Growth," NBER Working Papers 3848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Partha Chatterjee & Malik Shukayev, 2006. "Are Average Growth Rate and Volatility Related?," Staff Working Papers 06-24, Bank of Canada.
  22. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2003. "Unbundling Institutions," NBER Working Papers 9934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Witold J. Henisz, 2002. "The institutional environment for infrastructure investment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 355-389.
  24. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link Between Volatility and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Jakob Haan, 2007. "Political institutions and economic growth reconsidered," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 281-292, June.
  26. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  27. Harry Seldadyo & Emmanuel Pandu Nugroho & Jakob de Haan, 2007. "Governance and Growth Revisited," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 279-290, 05.
  28. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Jong-A-Pin, R., 2006. "On the measurement of political instability and its impact on economic growth," Research Report 06C05, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  30. Jakob De Haan & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2006. "How to Handle Economic Freedom: Reply to Lawson," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(3), pages 407-411, September.
  31. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  32. Christoph Schaltegger & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Growth effects of public expenditure on the state and local level: evidence from a sample of rich governments," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1181-1192.
  33. Bonnie Wilson & Dennis Coates & Jac Heckelman, 2008. "Democracy and Volatility: Do Special-Interest Groups Matter?," Working Papers 2008-01, Saint Louis University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
  34. Campos, Nauro F. & Nugent, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Who is afraid of political instability?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 157-172, February.
  35. Francisco José Veiga & Ari Aisen, 2006. "Political Instability and Inflation Volatility," IMF Working Papers 06/212, International Monetary Fund.
  36. Galor, Oded, 1996. "Convergence? Inferences from Theoretical Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 1350, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  37. Jac C. Heckelman, 2000. "Economic Freedom and Economic Growth: A Short-run Causal Investigation," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 71-91, May.
  38. Abdiweli Ali, 2001. "Political instability, policy uncertainty, and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(1), pages 87-106, March.
  39. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  40. Doucouliagos, Chris & Ulubasoglu, Mehmet Ali, 2006. "Economic freedom and economic growth: Does specification make a difference?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 60-81, March.
  41. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 1997. "Why Don't Poor Countries Catch Up? A Cross-National Test of Institutional Explanation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 590-602, July.
  42. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Khalid Sekkat & Laurent Weill, 2009. "Institutional Changes Now And Benefits Tomorrow: How Soon Is Tomorrow?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 319-357, 07.
  43. Christian Bjørnskov, 2007. "Determinants of generalized trust: A cross-country comparison," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 1-21, January.
  44. Aron, Janine, 2000. "Growth and Institutions: A Review of the Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(1), pages 99-135, February.
  45. Ferderer, J Peter, 1993. "The Impact of Uncertainty on Aggregate Investment Spending: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(1), pages 30-48, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:8:y:2012:i:02:p:187-224_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.