IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pid/wpaper/200950.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Reforming Institutions: Where to Begin?

Author

Listed:
  • M. Idrees Khawaja

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)

  • Sajawal Khan

    (State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi)

Abstract

No society is devoid of institutions but many live with poor institutions. Institutions promote growth. This is a view now held firmly and widely. The task then is to ‘engineer’ growth-promoting institutions. Endogeneity characterises institutions; for example, groups enjoying political power influence economic institutions, but political power itself is a function of wealth. Given endogeneity, if the task is to design institutional reforms, the question then arises, as to what to reform first. We use the theories of institutional evolution put forth by Douglas North, Darron Acemoglu and Dani Rodrik and the historical experiences of different countries in the context of development (or non-development) of institutions, to determine the starting-point of institutional reforms, if the objective is to design institutional reforms. We argue that in Pakistan, neither large commercial interest nor fiscal constraints can force the de jure power to reform institutions. Typically, large commercial interests in Pakistan have thrived on favours from de jure power, and therefore do not have teeth. Given strategic interests of foreign powers, foreign aid will alleviate the fiscal constraint and the ruler-citizens bargain—though reforming institution in exchange for tax revenue will remain a dream. The country does not seem ready for a revolution either; the thought process that typically precedes revolutions seems to have barely begun. The alternative, that remains, then is the gradualist approach preferred by North, Acemoglu, and Rodrik. Institutional reforms in Pakistan should begin with reform of the educational system—the introduction of a common educational system for all and sundry up to a certain level. Two reasons make us chose the educational system as the candidate to start the process of institutional reform. First, a common educational system will produce a shared value system which, in turn, will reduce the heterogeneity in the society. Lesser heterogeneity in society will then facilitate an agreement over the minimal set of institutional reforms. Second, politicians being myopic, the de jure power is more likely to concede to the demand for reform of the educational system as compared to the demand to, say, put an end to rent-seeking. The former will affect the de jure power a generation hence, while the latter will affect them today.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Idrees Khawaja & Sajawal Khan, 2009. "Reforming Institutions: Where to Begin?," PIDE-Working Papers 2009:50, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:wpaper:2009:50
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.pide.org.pk/pdf/Working%20Paper/WorkingPaper-50.pdf
    File Function: First Version, 2009
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth : revisiting the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3004, The World Bank.
    2. Nunn, Nathan, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Scholarly Articles 33077824, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Lubna Hasan, 2007. "Myths and Realities of Long-run Development: A Look at Deeper Determinants," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 46(1), pages 19-44.
    4. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change," Introductory Chapters, in: Understanding the Process of Economic Change, Princeton University Press.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    6. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
    7. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth Lee Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economies," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2002), pages 41-110, August.
    8. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    9. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    10. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, January.
    11. Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, May.
    12. Omar Azfar, 2006. "The New Institutional Economics Approach to Economic Development: A Discussion of Social, Political, Legal, and Economic Institutions," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 45(4), pages 965-980.
    13. Nadeem Ul Haque & Idrees Khawaja, 2007. "Public Service: Through the Eyes of Civil Servants," PIDE Books, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, number 2007:1, Decembrie.
    14. Amjad,Rashid, 2008. "Private Industrial Investment in Pakistan," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521053617.
    15. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009. "Rent Preservation and the Persistence of Underdevelopment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 178-218, January.
    16. Mr. Arvind Subramanian & Mr. Francesco Trebbi & Mr. Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Integration and Geography in Economic Development," IMF Working Papers 2002/189, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2005. "Colonialism, Inequality, and Long-Run Paths of Development," NBER Working Papers 11057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Adnan Haider & Musleh ud Din & Ejaz Ghani, 2011. "Consequences of Political Instability, Governance and Bureaucratic Corruption on Inflation and Growth: The Case of Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 50(4), pages 773-807.
    2. Younis, Fizza, 2015. "Institutional Change and Economic Growth in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 72938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Younis, Fizza, 2015. "Institutional Quality, Foreign Aid and Economic Performance," MPRA Paper 74147, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. José Antonio Alonso & Carlos Garcimartín & Luis Rivas, 2011. "Taxes, Foreign Aid and Quality of Governance Institutions," Chapters, in: Mehmet Ugur & David Sunderland (ed.), Does Economic Governance Matter?, chapter 7, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. José Antonio Alonso & Carlos Garcimartín, 2011. "Does Aid Hinder Tax Efforts? More Evidence," Discussion Papers 11/04, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    3. Rajan, Raghuram & Zingales, Luigi, 2006. "The Persistence of Underdevelopment: Institutions, Human Capital or Constituencies," CEPR Discussion Papers 5867, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Williamson, Claudia R., 2012. "Dignity and development," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 763-771.
    5. Rok Spruk & Mitja Kovac, 2020. "Persistent Effects of Colonial Institutions on Long‐Run Development: Local Evidence from Regression Discontinuity Design in Argentina," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 17(4), pages 820-861, December.
    6. Oyèkọ́lá, Ọláyínká, 2021. "Where do people live longer?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 21-44.
    7. Alali, Walid Y., 2010. "Impact of Institutions and Policy on Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence," EconStor Preprints 269878, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    8. Alali, Walid Y., 2010. "Impact of Institutions and Policy on Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence," MPRA Paper 115610, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Diego A. Cerdeiro & Andras Komaromi, 2021. "Trade and income in the long run: Are there really gains, and are they widely shared?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 703-731, September.
    10. Dollar, David & Levin, Victoria, 2006. "The Increasing Selectivity of Foreign Aid, 1984-2003," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2034-2046, December.
    11. Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés & Ketterer, Tobias, 2016. "Institutions vs. ‘First-Nature’ Geography – What Drives Economic Growth in Europe’s Regions?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11322, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Focacci, Chiara Natalie & Kovac, Mitja & Spruk, Rok, 2023. "Ethnolinguistic diversity, quality of local public institutions, and firm-level innovation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    13. Di Liberto, Adriana & Sideri, Marco, 2015. "Past dominations, current institutions and the Italian regional economic performance," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 12-41.
    14. Fenske, James, 2010. "Institutions in African history and development: A review essay," MPRA Paper 23120, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Elise Huillery, 2011. "The Impact of European Settlement within French West Africa: Did Pre-colonial Prosperous Areas Fall Behind?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(2), pages 263-311, March.
    16. James Fenske, 2014. "Ecology, Trade, And States In Pre-Colonial Africa," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 612-640, June.
    17. Uwe Sunde, 2006. "Wirtschaftliche Entwicklung und Demokratie – Ist Demokratie ein Wohlstandsmotor oder ein Wohlstandsprodukt?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(4), pages 471-499, November.
    18. Luis Angeles & Kyriakos C. Neanidis, "undated". "Colonialism, elite Formation and corruption," Working Papers 2011_02, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    19. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2009. "Rent Preservation and the Persistence of Underdevelopment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 178-218, January.
    20. Carol H. Shiue & Wolfgang Keller, 2007. "Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1189-1216, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutional Evolution; Institutional Change; Human Behaviour;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • P16 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Capitalist Institutions; Welfare State

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pid:wpaper:2009:50. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Khurram Iqbal (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/pideipk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.