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Institutions and Governance

Why are some countries so rich and others so poor? A big part of the answer to this question has to do with differences across countries in the quality of their institutions. Good institutions of public decision-making and competent governments enable societies to choose growth-enhancing policies and sound development strategies. Institutions that protect property rights and ensure that contracts are enforced help create an economic environment in which individuals and firms can interact to their mutual benefit. Good institutions remove the opportunities and incentives for corrupt behavior, thus strengthening trust and institutional effectiveness.

The research described on this page contributes to the growing evidence on the role of governance and institutions for economic development. It is concerned with the following questions:
• How do we measure governance and institutional quality?
• How does governance affect growth and development? What are the mechanisms, and how big are the effects?
• What are the determinants of good governance? What are the incentives for governments to make decisions in the interest of the population? What role do social norms and political institutions play?
• What policy responses can mitigate, or compensate, the adverse consequences of poor governance for growth and development? What can be expected from mechanisms such as information provision to citizens, report cards and community-driven development?

Resource persons

Publications and Working Papers

Journal articles, book chapters and other publications,
This page lists recent scholarly publications by staff working in the area of Macroeconomics and Growth.  Publications are organized by topic and appear in reverse chronological order.

Working papers
The Policy Research Working Paper Series disseminates findings of work in progress, to encourage the exchange of ideas about development issues.  These are official working papers of the World Bank and aare drawn from the World Bank's institutional archives. Each link opens a page with an abstract of the document and several download options. Choose the 'light-weight documents' option for easy download.


WPS6254Income risk, income mobility and welfareKrebs, Tom; Krishna, Pravin; Maloney, William F.2012/10
WPS6223Making up people -- the effect of identity on preferences and performance in a modernizing societyHoff, Karla; Pandey, Priyanka2012/10
WPS6064Experiments in culture and corruption : a reviewBanuri, Sheheryar; Eckel, Catherine2012/05
WPS5952Do informed citizens receive more...or pay more ? the impact of radio on the government distribution of public health benefitsKeefer, Philip; Khemani, Stuti2012/01
WPS5760Tastes, castes, and culture : the influence of society on preferencesFehr, Ernst; Hoff, Karla2011/08

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