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External influences on local institutions: spatial dependence and openness

  • G. Faber
  • M.J. Gerritsen
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    There are both empirical and theoretical arguments for the thesis that external factors have an impact on domestic institutional quality. Consequently, external factors may have large effects on domestic income via local institutions. This paper investigates the role of external factors by estimating the impact of openness and the institutional environment of proximate countries on local institutions and local income. In a 107-country cross-section, we find that both openness (in trade, and especially FDI) and the institutional indicators of nearby countries have an independent impact on local institutional indicators. The effects on income levels are not symmetric, however. We estimate that trade openness plays a major role as a direct determinant of the income level, and a smaller role in determining local institutions. By contrast, institutions of nearby countries are a prime determinant of local institutions, but carry no direct effects on local income levels.

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    File URL: http://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/handle/1874/309550/09_11_1.pdf
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    Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-11.

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    Date of creation: May 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0911
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    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
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    11. Maarten Bosker & Harry Garretsen, 2009. "Economic development and the geography of institutions," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 295-328, May.
    12. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1998. "Troubles with the Neighbours: Africa's Problem, Africa's Opportunity," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(1), pages 120-42, March.
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