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Rule of Law, Democracy, Openness, and Income: Estimating the Interrelationships

  • Roberto Rigobon
  • Dani Rodrik

We estimate the interrelationships among economic institutions, political institutions, openness, and income levels, using identification through heteroskedasticity (IH). We split our cross-national dataset into two sub-samples: (i) colonies versus non-colonies; and (ii) continents aligned on an East-West versus those aligned on a North-South axis. We exploit the difference in the structural variances in these two sub-samples to gain identification. We find that democracy and the rule of law are both good for economic performance, but the latter has a much stronger impact on incomes. Openness (trade/GDP) has a negative impact on income levels and democracy, but a positive effect on rule of law. Higher income produces greater openness and better institutions, but these effects are not very strong. Rule of law and democracy tend to be mutually reinforcing.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10750.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10750.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Publication status: published as Rigobon, Roberto and Dani Rodrik. "Rule of Law, Democracy, Openness, and Income: Estimating the Interrelationships." The Economics of Transition 13, 3 (2005): 533-64.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10750
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  1. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," NBER Working Papers 10314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Francisco Alcalá & Antonio Ciccone, 2001. "Trade and productivity," Economics Working Papers 580, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2002.
  3. Roberto Rigobon, 2002. "Contagion: How to Measure It?," NBER Chapters, in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 269-334 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Edward E. Leamer, 1979. "Is it a Demand Curve, or is it a Supply Curve?: Partial Identification Through Inequality Constraints," UCLA Economics Working Papers 153, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth without governance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2928, The World Bank.
  6. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Andrea Cipollini & Panicos Demetriades, 2003. "Monetary Policy and the Exchange Rate During the Asian Crisis: Identification Through Heteroscedasticity," CEIS Research Paper 23, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  7. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rigobon, Roberto, 2002. "The curse of non-investment grade countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 423-449, December.
  9. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Cipollini, Andrea & Spagnolo, Nicola, 2005. "Testing for contagion: a conditional correlation analysis," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 476-489, June.
  10. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2002. "The impact of monetary policy on asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-4, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Evans, Martin D.D. & Lyons, Richard K., 2008. "How is macro news transmitted to exchange rates?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 26-50, April.
  12. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2003. "Measuring The Reaction Of Monetary Policy To The Stock Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 639-669, May.
  13. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2003. "Unbundling Institutions," NBER Working Papers 9934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "Identification Through Heteroskedasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 777-792, November.
  15. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  16. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2003. "Spillovers across U.S. financial markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-13, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. 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.
  18. Gabriele Fiorentini & Enrique Sentana Iváñez, 1997. "Identification, estimation and testing of conditionally heteroskedastic factor models," Working Papers. Serie AD 1997-22, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  19. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth : revisiting the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3004, The World Bank.
  20. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Hélène Poirson & Luca Antonio Ricci & Catherine A. Pattillo, 2004. "What Are the Channels Through Which External Debt Affects Growth?," IMF Working Papers 04/15, International Monetary Fund.
  22. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Roberto Rigobon, 1999. "On the Measurement of the International Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 7354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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