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Is the World Flat? Or Do Countries Still Matter?

  • Alberto Chong

    ()

  • Mark Gradstein

This paper revisits the effects of a countrys institutional framework on individual firms behavior, in particular focusing on their propensity to comply with legal rules. The theoretical model presented here suggests that these effects may be of paramount significancecontrary to the recently popularized paradigm arguing that differences across countries have ceased to matter much. This papers empirical strategy consists of explaining the variation in measures of non-compliance with legal rules and employs a rich dataset based on thousands of firms from dozens of countries. We find that most of the variation emanates from country-wide differences in institutional quality, although some firm characteristics play a role as well. Our conclusion is that countries still matter in providing institutional infrastructure, which determines to a large extent the context within which firms operate.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4488.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4488
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  1. Doidge, Craig & Karolyi, G. Andrew & Stulz, Rene M., 2004. "Why Do Countries Matter So Much for Corporate Governance?," Working Paper Series 2004-16, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  2. Gabriela Inchauste & Mark Gradstein & Era Dabla-Norris, 2005. "What Causes Firms to Hide Output? the Determinants of Informality," IMF Working Papers 05/160, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Legal Origins," NBER Working Papers 8272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daniel Berkowitz & Johannes Moenius & Katharina Pistor, 2006. "Trade, Law, and Product Complexity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 363-373, May.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2003. "Unbundling Institutions," NBER Working Papers 9934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Juan Botero, 2003. "The Regulation of Labor," NBER Working Papers 9756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio L√≥pez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  7. R. Hirschowitz, 1989. "The Other Path: The Invisible Revolution in the Third World," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 57(4), pages 266-272, December.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  10. 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.
  11. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  12. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2006. "Cultures of Corruption: Evidence From Diplomatic Parking Tickets," NBER Working Papers 12312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions As The Fundamental Cause Of Long-Run Growth," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002889, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  14. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
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