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The Good Governance Indicators of the Millennium Challenge Account: How Many Dimensions are Really Being Measured?

  • Knoll, Martin
  • Zloczysti, Petra

This paper assesses the validity of the perception-based governance indicators used by the US Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) for aid allocation decisions. By conducting Explanatory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis of data from 1996 to 2009, we find that although the MCA purports to measure seven distinct dimensions of governance, only two discrete underlying dimensions, the perceived “participatory dimension of governance” and the perceived “overall quality of governance,” can be identified. Our results also show that some of the doubts that have been raised concerning the validity of perception-based governance indicators are less warranted when the indicators are applied exclusively to developing countries.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 40 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 900-915

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:5:p:900-915
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Michela Nardo & Michaela Saisana & Andrea Saltelli & Stefano Tarantola & Anders Hoffman & Enrico Giovannini, 2005. "Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators: Methodology and User Guide," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2005/3, OECD Publishing.
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  4. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2007. "The worldwide governance indicators project : answering the critics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4149, The World Bank.
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  6. Laura Langbein & Stephen Knack, 2010. "The Worldwide Governance Indicators: Six, One, or None?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 350-370.
  7. Berthelemy, Jean-Claude & Tichit, Ariane, 2004. "Bilateral donors' aid allocation decisions--a three-dimensional panel analysis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 253-274.
  8. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2010. "Response to ‘What do the Worldwide Governance Indicators Measure?’," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(1), pages 55-58, February.
  9. Henry Kaiser, 1974. "An index of factorial simplicity," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 31-36, March.
  10. Chhotray, Vasudha & Hulme, David, 2009. "Contrasting Visions for Aid and Governance in the 21st Century: The White House Millennium Challenge Account and DFID's Drivers of Change," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 36-49, January.
  11. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
  12. N. Hermes & R. Lensink, 2001. "Changing the Conditions for Development Aid: A New Paradigm?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 1-16.
  13. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet, 2003. "The Millennium Challenge Account: How Much is Too Much, How Long is Long Enough?," Working Papers 23, Center for Global Development.
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