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Institutions matter, but which ones?


The purpose of this paper is to go beyond the narrow focus of the current institutional economics literature in development on the institutions protecting individual property rights, and to look at the economic effects of some other aspects of institutional quality on the development process (like democratic participation rights and institutions to address coordination failures). Another purpose is to suggest an alternative instrumental variable in quantifying the effects of property rights institutions. Finally, we speculate how, on account of distributive conflicts, institutions that have an adverse effect on economic performance often tend to persist for long periods of time in many poor countries.

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