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Quality of Institutions: Does Intelligence Matter?

  • Isaac Kalonda-Kanyama
  • Oasis Kodila-Tedika

This paper analyzes the eect of the average level of intelligence on different measures of the quality of institutions, using a 2006 cross-sectional sample of 113 countries. The results show that average IQ positively affects all the measures of institutional quality considered in our study, namely government efficiency, regulatory quality, rule of law, political stability and voice and accountability. The positive effect of intelligence is robust to controlling for other determinants of institutional quality. It follows that countries with higher IQ levels enjoy institutions of better quality than countries with low levels of IQ. This finding should by no means be interpreted as evidence that there exist some countries with more intelligent populations that build better institutions and some other countries with less intelligent populations that build poor institutions. What our finding points out to is the fact that a country's level of the understanding of the rules and principles that govern the institutions and the degree of cooperation of its human capital withinnational institutions is important for institutional quality.

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Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 308.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:308
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  1. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  2. Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Intelligence and corruption," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 109-112.
  3. Garett Jones & W. Schneider, 2006. "Intelligence, Human Capital, and Economic Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 71-93, 03.
  4. Islam, Roumeen & Montenegro, Claudio E., 2002. "What determines the quality of institutions?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2764, The World Bank.
  5. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  6. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
  7. Jones, Garett, 2011. "National IQ and National Productivity: The Hive Mind Across Asia," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 28(1), pages 51-71.
  8. Weede, Erich & Kampf, Sebastian, 2002. "The Impact of Intelligence and Institutional Improvements on Economic Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 361-80.
  9. Garett Jones & W. Joel Schneider, 2010. "Iq In The Production Function: Evidence From Immigrant Earnings," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 743-755, 07.
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