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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. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," Working Papers 15, Center for Global Development.
  2. Leamer, Edward E, 1981. "Is It a Demand Curve, or Is It a Supply Curve? Partial Identification through Inequality Constraints," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 319-27, August.
  3. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay, 2002. "Growth without Governance," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  4. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
  5. Francisco Alcalá & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Trade and Productivity," Working Papers 12, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Andrea Cipollini & Panicos Demetriades, 2000. "Monetary Policy and the Exchange Rate During the Asian Crisis Identification Through Heteroscedasticity," Discussion Papers in Economics 00/11, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Feb 2002.
  9. 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.
  10. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2003. "Spillovers Across U.S. Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 9640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Sentana, E. & Fiorentini, G., 1997. "Identification, Estimation and Testing of Conditionally Heteroskedastic Factor Model," Papers 9709, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  13. Rigobon, Roberto & Sack, Brian, 2004. "The impact of monetary policy on asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1553-1575, November.
  14. 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.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
  16. 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.
  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. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  19. 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.
  20. Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "Identification Through Heteroskedasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 777-792, November.
  21. Roberto Rigobon, 2001. "The Curse of Non-Investment Grade Countries," NBER Working Papers 8636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth : revisiting the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3004, The World Bank.
  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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