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Measuring Institutions: The Zimbabwe Case

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  • Farayi Gwenhamo
  • Johannes Fedderke
  • Raphael de Kadt

Abstract

The current, persistent growth problem in Zimbabwe is often attributed to poor economic and political institutional frameworks characterised by insecure property rights and an unreliable rule of law. An empirical test of this hypothesis presents some methodological difficulties. Although political scientists have been constructing measures of social and political dimensions of societies for some time, such measures are not available over sufficiently long time runs to inspire confidence in their usefulness in being able to address the long-run and dynamic questions that arise when linking economic performance and institutions. The aim of the paper is to assemble a new set of political and economic institutional indicators for Zimbabwe covering the period 1946 to 2005. While the new indices span for a significantly long time period, they are highly correlated with existing, widely used institutional indices produced by the Freedom House, the Heritage Foundation and the Fraiser Institute. The new data set will contribute towards understanding the institutional dimension of Zimbabwe’s persistent economic decline.

Suggested Citation

  • Farayi Gwenhamo & Johannes Fedderke & Raphael de Kadt, 2008. "Measuring Institutions: The Zimbabwe Case," Working Papers 112, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:112
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    File URL: http://www.econrsa.org/node/136
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Klasen, Stephan, 2000. "Measuring Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 33-58, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. J.W. Fedderke & I. Lourenco & F. Gwenhamo, 2011. "Alternative indices of political freedoms, property rights, and political instability for Zambia," Working Papers 207, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    2. Johannes Fedderke & Julia Garlick, 2012. "Measuring Institutions: Indicators of Political and Property Rights in Malawi," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 106(3), pages 491-521, May.
    3. John Manuel Luiz & Luis Brites Pereira & Guilherme Oliveira, 2011. "Constructing Institutional Measures: Indicators of Political and Property Rights in Mozambique, 1900-2005," Working Papers 219, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    4. Leander Heldring & James A. Robinson, 2012. "Colonialism and Economic Development in Africa," NBER Working Papers 18566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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