Qualité institutionnelle et performance économique : cas des télécommunications dans les pays en voie de développement
[Institutional quality and economic performance through telecommunications in developing countries]
In recent years, a number of studies have shown that institutions are crucial to economic development. This literature has highlighted a relationship between the quality of the macro-institutional environment and the performance of reform policies conducted in some key sectors of the economy. This paper explores this relationship in the context of developing countries for the case of telecommunications, the sector among the infrastructure industries that has experienced worldwide probably the deepest structural changes. We specify an econometric model for a data base of observations on a panel of 32 developing countries covering fifteen years (1985-1999). The sample is decomposed into two panels according to GNP per inhabitant, thus allowing us to test for the existence of a level of revenue below which, once the effect of reforms variables, liberalization and privatization of the incumbent, has been controlled for, the quality of institutions plays only a minor role. We find that the impact of the institutional quality on the performance of the industry is more perceptible in the sample of countries with the lower GNP per inhabitant. Thus, within the developing countries, the marginal effect of an investment in improving the institutional quality is higher in the countries with lower revenues. This result might explain the recent trend of international donors to reallocate resources to long term policies for improving institutional mechanisms as a substitute to shorter-term aid policies focusing on sector-specific governance issues, in particular, in less developed countries.
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