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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?

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.

Policy Research Working Papers

For more policy research working papers from the World Bank's institutional archives, search here using author’s last name, title or working paper number (“wpsxxxx”).

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
WPS5676Collective action, political parties and pro-development public policyKeefer, Philip2011/06
WPS5646Good countries or good projects ? macro and micro correlates of World Bank project performanceDenizer, Cevdet; Kaufmann, Daniel; Kraay, Aart2011/05
WPS5415Does respondent reticence affect the results of corruption surveys ? evidence from the world bank enterprise survey for NigeriaClausen, Bianca; Kraay, Aart; Murrell, Peter2010/09
WPS5430The worldwide governance indicators : methodology and analytical issuesKaufmann, Daniel; Kraay, Aart; Mastruzzi, Massimo2010/09
WPS5254Can disaggregated indicators identify governance reform priorities ?Kraay, Aart; Tawara, Norikazu2010/03
WPS5236The ethnicity distraction ? political credibility and partisan preferences in AfricaKeefer, Philip2010/03
WPS5183Dysfunctional finance : positive shocks and negative outcomesHoff, Karla2010/01
WPS5182Earthquake propensity and the politics of mortality preventionKeefer, Philip; Neumayer, Eric; Plumper, Thomas2010/01
WPS5084Who survives ? the impact of corruption, competition and property rights across firmsHallward-Driemeier, Mary2009/10
WPS5040Caste and punishment : the legacy of caste culture in norm enforcementHoff, Karla; Kshetramade, Mayuresh; Fehr, Ernst2009/09
WPS5029Privatization and nationalization cyclesChang, Roberto; Hevia, Constantino; Loayza, Norman2009/08
WPS4929When do Legislators pass on "Pork" ? the determinants of legislator utilization of a constituency development fund in IndiaKeefer, Philip; Khemani, Stuti2009/05
WPS4902Banking on politicsBraun, Matias; Raddatz, Claudio2009/04
WPS4747Political alternation as a restraint on investing in influence : evidence from the post-communist transitionMilanovic, Branko; Hoff, Karla; Horowitz, Shale2008/10
WPS4762Populist fiscal policyKhemani, Stuti; Wane, Waly2008/10
WPS4654Governance matters VII : aggregate and individual governance indicators 1996-2007Kaufmann, Daniel; Kraay, Aart; Mastruzzi, Massimo2008/06
WPS4632Instrumental variables regressions with honestly uncertain exclusion restrictionsKraay, Aart2008/05
WPS4619Spite and developmentFehr, Ernst; Hoff, Karla; Kshetramade, Mayuresh2008/05
WPS4565Evo, Pablo, Tony, Diego, and Sonny - general equilibrium analysis of the illegal drugs marketChumacero, Romulo A.2008/03
WPS4543The development impact of the illegality of drug tradeKeefer, Philip; Loayza, Norman V.; Soares, Rodrigo R.2008/03
WPS4553The historical foundations of the narcotic drug control regimeBuxton, Julia2008/03
WPS4154Beyond legal origin and checks and balances : political credibility, citizen information, and financial sector developmentKeefer, Philip2007/03
WPS3575The kin system as a poverty trap?Hoff, Karla; Sen, Arijit2005/04
WPS3472Democracy, credibility and clientelismKeefer, Philip; Vlaicu, Razvan2005/01
WPS3479Why should we care about child labor? The education, labor market, and health consequences of child laborBeegle, Kathleen; Dehejia, Rajeev; Gatti, Roberta2005/01
WPS3315A review of the political economy of governance : from property rights to voiceKeefer, Philip2004/05
WPS3316Homeownership, community interactions, and segregationHoff, Karla; Sen, Arijit2004/05
WPS3250What does political economy tell us about economic development - and vice versa?Keefer, Philip2004/03
WPS3164Democracy, public expenditures, and the poorKeefer, Philip; Khemani, Stuti2003/11
WPS3161Liquidity needs and vulnerability to financial udnerdevelopmentRaddatz, Claudio2003/11
WPS3160Monetary policy and sectoral shocks : did the Federal Reserve react properly to the high-tech crisis?Claudio Raddatz; Roberto Rigobon2003/11
WPS2772Governance matters II - updated indicators for 2000-01Kaufmann, Daniel; Kraay, Aart; Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo2002/02
WPS2783Ownership, competition, and corruption : bribe takers versus bribe payersClarke, George R. G.; Lixin Colin Xu2002/02
WPS2767Child labor : the role of income variability and access to credit in a cross-section of countriesDehejia, Rajeev H.; Gatti, Roberta2002/01
WPS2542Checks and balances, private information, and the credibility of monetary commitmentsKeefer, Philip; Stasavage, David2001/02
WPS2534Indigenous ethnicity and entrepreneurial success in Africa : some evidence from EthiopiaMengistae, Taye2001/01
WPS2482Can institutions resolve ethnic conflict ?Easterly, William2000/11
WPS2356Bureaucratic delegation and political institutions: when are independent central banks irrelevent?Keffer, Philip; Stasavage, David2000/06
WPS2195Aggregating governance indicatorsKaufmann, Daniel; Kraay, Aart; Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo1999/10
WPS2196Governance mattersKaufmann, Daniel; Kraay, Aart; Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo1999/10
WPS2108Public goods and ethnic divisionsAlesina, Alberto; Baqir, Reza; Easterly, William1999/05

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