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Institutions and the Sectoral Organization of Production

  • Ana Fernandes

The impact of economic institutions on development is presently taken for granted but there is surprisingly scarce evidence on the channels through which institutions affect the organization of output. Imperfections in contractual enforcement, for example, could lead firms to adopt technologies that inefficiently minimize dependence on other sectors, thus going hand in hand with a reduction in productivity. Another channel would be the concentration of economic activity in sectors that have fewer interactions with other sectors. Using a dataset on manufacturing, this paper presents empirical evidence supporting both effects: better contractual enforcement raises relatively more the labor share of sectors that interact more with other sectors; further, good governance also boosts relatively more labor productivity in more complex subsectors of manufacturing. Both effects are strongest among countries whose labor productivity ranks in the second and third quartiles of the world productivity distribution and they are mute for the two extreme groups of poor and developed economies.

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Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp1207.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp1207
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  1. Costinot, Arnaud, 2007. "On the Origins of Comparative Advantage," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt07g7g8h8, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
  3. 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.
  4. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kevin Cowan & Alejandro Neut, 2007. "Intermediate Goods, Institutions and Output per Worker," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 420, Central Bank of Chile.
  7. Berthold Herrendorf & Ákos Valentinyi, 2012. "Which Sectors Make Poor Countries So Unproductive?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 323-341, 04.
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