IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Poverty, Geography and Institutional Path Dependence


  • Tebaldi, Edinaldo
  • Mohan, Ramesh


Using seven alternative measures of the institutions, this study examines the impacts of the quality of institutions on poverty rates in developing countries. The estimates obtained using the instrumental variable method (2SLS) show that the quality of institutions is negatively related with poverty rates and explain a significant portion of the variation in poverty rates across countries. More precisely, the empirical results suggest that an economy with a robust system to control corruption, market-friendly policies, a working judiciary system, and in which people have freedom to exercise their citizenship will create the necessary conditions to promote economic development and reduce poverty. The results suggest that pro-poor policies aimed at reducing poverty should first consider improving the quality of institutions in developing countries as a pre-requisite for economic development and poverty eradication.

Suggested Citation

  • Tebaldi, Edinaldo & Mohan, Ramesh, 2008. "Poverty, Geography and Institutional Path Dependence," MPRA Paper 10201, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10201

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Breton, Theodore R., 2004. "Can institutions or education explain world poverty? An augmented Solow model provides some insights," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 45-69, March.
    2. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2003. "Institutional and Non-Institutional Explanations of Economic Differences," NBER Working Papers 9989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    5. Alberto Chong & César Calderón, 2000. "Institutional quality and poverty measures in a cross-section of countries," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 123-135, July.
    6. Dani Rodrik, 2000. "Institutions for High-Quality Growth: What They are and How to Acquire Them," NBER Working Papers 7540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    8. A. Chong & C. Calderón, 2000. "Causality and Feedback Between Institutional Measures and Economic Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 69-81, March.
    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. Tebaldi, Edinaldo & Elmslie, Bruce, 2008. "Do Institutions Impact Innovation?," MPRA Paper 8757, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. 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.
    12. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
    13. Sindzingre, Alice, 2005. "Explaining Threshold Effects of Globalization on Poverty: An Institutional Perspective," WIDER Working Paper Series 053, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Klasen, Stephan, 2008. "Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction: Measurement Issues using Income and Non-Income Indicators," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 420-445, March.
    15. Walter Enders & Gary Hoover, 2003. "The effect of robust growth on poverty: a nonlinear analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(9), pages 1063-1071.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Poverty Trap; Institutions; Development;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:pra:mprapa:10201. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.