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What can we learn about country performance from conditional comparisons across countries?

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  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

There have been many attempts to infer latent performance attributes of governments (or other institutions) from conditional comparisons that control for observed variables. Success in doing do could greatly improve government performance. The author critically reviews the econometric foundations of the methods used. He argues that latent heterogeneity remains a fundamental, but unresolved problem. Locating a benchmark for measuring performance, adds a further problem. Current methods do not yield a consistent estimate of even the mean latent performance attribute. An assessment of country performance by these methods could well be wildly wrong.

Suggested Citation

  • Ravallion, Martin, 2000. "What can we learn about country performance from conditional comparisons across countries?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2342, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2342
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
    3. Patrick Vanhoudt, 1997. "Do Labor Market Policies and Growth Fundamentals Matter for Income Inequality in OECD Countries?: Some Empirical Evidence," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(3), pages 356-373, September.
    4. Aturupane, Harsha & Glewwe, Paul & Isenman, Paul, 1994. "Poverty, Human Development, and Growth: An Emerging Consensus?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 244-249, May.
    5. Ranis, Gustav & Stewart, Frances & Ramirez, Alejandro, 2000. "Economic Growth and Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 197-219, February.
    6. Tracy, Joseph & Waldfogel, Joel, 1997. "The Best Business Schools: A Market-Based Approach," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(1), pages 1-31, January.
    7. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Good and bad growth: The human development reports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 631-638, May.
    8. Bhalla, Surjit S & Glewwe, Paul, 1986. "Growth and Equity in Developing Countries: A Reinterpretation of the Sri Lankan Experience," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(1), pages 35-63, September.
    9. Sudhir Anand & Martin Ravallion, 1993. "Human Development in Poor Countries: On the Role of Private Incomes and Public Services," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 133-150, Winter.
    10. Gouyette, Claudine & Pestieau, Pierre, 1999. "Efficiency of the Welfare State," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 537-553.
    11. Bidani, Benu & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Decomposing social indicators using distributional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 125-139, March.
    12. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    13. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christiaensen, Luc & Scott, Christopher & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Cibles du développement et coûts
      [Development targets and costs]
      ," MPRA Paper 10494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Christiaensen, Luc & Scott, Christopher & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Задачи Развития И Затраты
      [Development targets and costs]
      ," MPRA Paper 10495, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Christiaensen, Luc & Scott, Christopher & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Development Targets and Costs," MPRA Paper 12299, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Christiaensen, Luc & Scott, Christopher & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Metas y costos del desarrollo
      [Development Targets and Costs]
      ," MPRA Paper 10493, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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