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Income Growth and Institutional Quality: Evidence from International Oil Price Shocks

  • Brückner, Markus
  • Gradstein, Mark

In this paper, we study the causal effect of income growth on institutional quality in the 1984-2007 cross country panel. To focus on exogenous income windfalls, we employ international oil price shocks as an instrument for income growth. While national incomes and measures of institutional quality are highly correlated, our analysis fails to identify a clear pattern of a causal effect, and estimations often yield statistically insignificant coefficients, albeit with positive signs. We then explore the possibility that fixed country characteristics may mediate the effect of income on institutions. Focusing on measures of ethnic heterogeneity, we find that ethnic polarization acts adversely as a mediating factor in this regard.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8871.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8871
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A. & Yared, Pierre, 2009. "Reevaluating the modernization hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1043-1058, November.
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  9. Michael Alexeev & Robert Conrad, 2009. "The Elusive Curse of Oil," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 586-598, August.
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  11. 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.
  12. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  13. Jess Benhabib & Alejandro Corvalan & Mark M. Spiegel, 2011. "Reestablishing the income-democracy nexus," Working Paper Series 2011-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  15. Tornell, Aaron & Lane, Philip R., 1998. "Are windfalls a curse?: A non-representative agent model of the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 83-112, February.
  16. Caselli, Francesco & Tesei, Andrea, 2011. "Resource Windfalls, Political Regimes, and Political Stability," CEPR Discussion Papers 8662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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