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Do Institutions Matter? Estimating the Effect of Institutions on Econo- mic Performance in China

Listed author(s):
  • Ying Fang
  • Yang Zhao

This paper estimates the effect of institutions on economic performance using cross-city data from China. We argue that China’s ongoing reforms are part of a long and circuitous historical transition from antiquity to modernity, which started about 150 years ago. Learning from Western countries has been a central aspect of this historical process. The West had a large influence on the early stage of this transition, which has persisted to current reforms. This study uses the enrollment in Christian missionary lower primary schools in China in 1919 as an instrument for present institutions. Employing a two-stage least squares method, we find that the effect of institutions on economic performance in China is positive and significant. The results are robust according to various tests including additional controls, such as geographic factors and government policy-related variables.

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Paper provided by Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University in its series WISE Working Papers with number 2013-10-14.

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Date of creation: 14 Oct 2013
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:wyi:wpaper:002010
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.wise.xmu.edu.cn/english/

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1331-1370.
  3. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 01A, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  4. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
  5. Au, Chun-Chung & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2006. "How migration restrictions limit agglomeration and productivity in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-388, August.
  6. Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
  7. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 22(2), pages 179-232, August.
  8. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
  10. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  11. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
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