Journal Article

Comment on “Evaluating Recipes for Development Success”: The Policy Usefulness of Institutional and Political Analyses of Development

Philip Keefer

in The World Bank Research Observer

Published on behalf of World Bank

Volume 22, issue 2, pages 159-164
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 0257-3032
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1564-6971 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wbro/lkm008
Comment on “Evaluating Recipes for Development Success”: The Policy Usefulness of Institutional and Political Analyses of Development

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  • Socialist Institutions and their Transitions
  • Other Economic Systems
  • Development Planning and Policy
  • Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
  • Economic Development

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In “Evaluating Recipes for Development Success” Avinash Dixit criticizes recent efforts to identify the “fundamental” causes of development and to distill policy recommendations from these efforts. This comment focuses on the strand of that literature related to institutions and development. Two arguments are important: that the rule of law and the security of property rights are important for growth and that they are the product of political institutions. Professor Dixit argues that identification and other concerns undermine the second argument and inhibit the formulation of policy recommendations. While these concerns are valid, research has begun to disaggregate broad political institutions (democracy and autocracy) and to look at the details of political competition, such as voter information and politician credibility, which are both more robust determinants of political decision-making and more susceptible to policy interventions.

Keywords: O43; O17; O20; P30; P48

Journal Article.  2098 words. 

Subjects: Socialist Institutions and their Transitions ; Other Economic Systems ; Development Planning and Policy ; Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity ; Economic Development

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