Measuring Institutions: The Zimbabwe Case
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 Zimbabweâ€™s persistent economic decline.
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