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What fundamentally drives growth? Revisiting the institutions and economic performance debate

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  • Jessica Henson Decker

    (Centre College, Danville, USA)

  • Jamus Jerome Lim

    (World Bank, Washington, USA, and SCCIE, Santa Cruz, USA)

Abstract

The recent empirical growth literature has proposed three underlying fundamental determinants of economic growth, namely, physical geography, economic integration and institutional quality. This paper unpacks the final determinant into both political-economic institutions as well as the primarily political institution of democratic development. Using both cross-sectional and panel datasets, we show that, properly instrumented, there is no evidence that democracies grow faster or slower than non-democracies. This result is in contrast to much of the more recent literature, which tends to find a weakly positive relationship. Political- economic institutions, however, remain positive and significant determinants of economic growth, which corroborates much of the empirical evidence in the existing literature. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Jessica Henson Decker & Jamus Jerome Lim, 2008. "What fundamentally drives growth? Revisiting the institutions and economic performance debate," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(5), pages 698-725.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:20:y:2008:i:5:p:698-725
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1454
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    Cited by:

    1. Tamilina, Larysa & Tamilina, Natalya, 2013. "Formal Institutions and the Trust Formation Process: A Psychological Approach to Explain the Relationship between Institutions and Interpersonal Trust," MPRA Paper 49812, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Thomas Apolte, 2011. "Democracy and prosperity in two decades of transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(4), pages 693-722, October.
    3. Charles Okeahalam & Kennedy Otwombe, 2016. "Socioeconomic development and the risk of maritime piracy," Journal of Transportation Security, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 125-160, December.
    4. Chien-Chiang Lee & Chi-Chuan Lee & Chun-Ping Chang, 2015. "Globalization, Economic Growth and Institutional Development in China," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 31-63, March.
    5. Tamilina, Larysa & Tamilina, Natalya, 2014. "The impact of formal institutions on social trust formation: A social-cognitive approach," MPRA Paper 63203, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. repec:pid:journl:v:55:y:2016:i:4:p:437-453 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Tamilina, Larysa & Tamilina, Natalya, 2015. "Psychology of Trust: A Three Component Analytical Framework to Explain the Impact of Formal Institutions on Social Trust Formation," MPRA Paper 68647, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Feb 2015.
    8. Apolte, Thomas & Peters, Heiko, 2009. "Governance, Demokratie und wirtschaftliche Entwicklung in den ehemals sozialistischen Staaten," IÖB-Diskussionspapiere 1/09, University of Münster, Institute for Economic Education.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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