Economic Growth: the role of institutions

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1 ECON 184 Economic Growth: the role of institutions ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

2 Contents 1 Institutions and growth: initial analysis 3 2 How can institutions affect economic growth? 7 3 Reversal of fortune The idea What does the data say? Finding causal effects for institutions Methods The strategy Results ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

3 1 Institutions and growth: initial analysis ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

4 Definitions Institutions: societies s rules of the game; the humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction. Examples: Expropriations. Corruption. Democracy. Constraints on executive. Judicial independence. Let s look at some correlations. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

5 Expropriation and income (Acemoglu et. al). Log GDP per capita, PPP, in ZAR HTI SDN MLI KWT ARE BHR MLT GRC BHS CHL OMN SAU ARG URY VEN MEX BWA GAB PAN ZAF MYS CRI COL TTOTHA BRA IRN TUR POL TUN ECU PER DOM DZA ROM GTM JORPRYJAM PHL SUR SYR MAR IDN SLV BOL GUY EGY CHN AGO HND ZWE LKA NIC CMR COG SEN CIV GHA GIN PAK VNM MNG TGO KEN UGA MDG BFA BGD NGA ZMB NER YEM MOZ MWI QAT HKG GMB IND ISR RUS KOR CZE HUN BGR LUX USA SGP CHE BEL DNK CAN AUT JPN FRA NOR AUSITA ISL SWE FIN GBR NLD NZL IRL ESP PRT 6 SLE ETH TZA Avg. Protection Against Risk of Expropriation, ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

6 Corruption and income (Acemoglu et. al). Log GDP per capita, PPP, in VEN ARG COL PAN MEX THA LBN TUR ECU DOM RUS BGRHRV ROM PER KAZ LVA JAM IDN PHL BOL EGY CHN UKR ARM ZWE LKA NGA TZA PAK GEO KEN ZMB UGA MDGBFA MLI MOZ GHA SEN VNM IND MWI SVK BRA TUN KOR LTU JOR MAR CZE URY ZAF MYS HUN POL BEL JPN ITA SGP CHE CANDNK NLD SWE FIN NZL Control of Corruption GRC SVN CHL USA HKG FRA AUT NOR AUS DEU GBR ISR IRL ESP PRT ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

7 2 How can institutions affect economic growth? ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

8 Arguments 1. Economic institutions matter because they shape incentives Geography and culture matter but not too much. It also affects distribution of resources. 2. Economic institutions are endogenous. They are the collective choice of society. Hence, not all individuals are going to have same institutions. It creates a conflict of interests. And it will depend on political power 3. Efficiency and distribution are not separable Those in power don t have incentives to benefit others. Pro-growth policies might go against those in power. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

9 4. Distribution of political power is endogenous De jure political power: originates from political institutions. 5. De facto political power depends on distribution of resources Agents with de jure political power can have de facto political power. Land and wealth can give you (de jure) political power. 6. Key variables: Political institutions. Distributions of resources. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

10 The big picture framework is as follows: political institutions t distribution of resources t de jure political power t & de facto political power t economic institutions t political institutions t+1 economic performance t & distribution of resources t+1 ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

11 3 Reversal of fortune ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

12 3.1 The idea How can you measure economic performance in 1500? Historians suggest that population density or urbanization are good predictors of economic performance. If so, we can measure economic performance in 1500 by looking at the urbanization rate in those years. Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (QJE, 2002) followed that idea. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

13 3.2 What does the data say? ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

14 Income might be measured by urbanization rates Acemoglu et. al. (2002) QJE FIGURE III Log GDP per Capita (PPP) in 1995 against the Urbanization Rate in 1995 Note. GDP per capita and urbanization are from the World Bank [1999]. Urbanization is percent of population living in urban areas. The definition of urban areas differs between countries, but the usual minimum size is inhabitants. For details of definitions and sources for urban population in 1995, see the United Nations [1998]. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

15 Yesterday s poor are today s rich FIGURE I Log GDP per Capita (PPP) in 1995 against Urbanization Rate in 1500 Note. GDP per capita is from the World Bank [1999]; urbanization in 1500 is people living in towns with more than 5000 inhabitants divided by total population, from Bairoch [1988] and Eggimann [1999]. Details are in Appendices 1 and 2. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

16 Robustness: reversal is found with population density too FIGURE II Log GDP per Capita (PPP) against Log Population Density in 1500 Note. GDP per capita from the World Bank [1999]; log population density in 1500 from McEvedy and Jones [1978]. Details are in Appendix 2. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

17 It started between ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

18 Can geography explain the reversal? Not likely. Geography (broadly defined) remained constant. Institutions: High population density provides labor supply for extractive economic institution (e.g. mining or agriculture.) How easy was for European to establish settlements depended negatively on population density. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

19 4 Finding causal effects for institutions ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

20 4.1 Methods Question: can we find causal effect of institutions on economic performance? We can start with this model y i = α + θ inst i + β x i + e i Where y i be the GDP per capita for country i. inst i set of institution-related variables (e.g. protection against expropriation risk) x i other variables (e.g., education, geography). θ is the vector of parameters of interest. e i is the error term. We need this to be uncorrelated with the inst i variables. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

21 4.2 The strategy The idea is to find a variable z i that can explain institutions but that doesn t explain economic performance. z i is called the instrument and the method is called instrumental variables. Idea: Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (AER, 2001) use colonialism as an experiment. The argument: Mortality of settlers (z i ) settlements early institutions current institutions (inst i ) current performance (y i ). Sample: a cross-section sample of countries. ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

22 4.3 Results ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

23 The correlation between income and institutions is robust ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

24 First step: today s institutions are related to settlers mortality ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

25 Second step: how exogenous institutions affect income ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

26 Question: what are the policy recommendations you could derive from this approach? How can countries choose good institutions? ECON 184: Institutions and Growth January 26,

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