Why not adopt better institutions?

Brian Kelleher Richter, Jeffrey F. Timmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How much growth do (economic and legal) institutions cause? To quantify this effect, we adapted the baseline regression in Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson's (2002, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(4), pp. 1231-1294) seminal work on the causal relationship between the quality of institutions and differences in modern-day income levels was adapted. We found that improving institutional quality by one standard deviation increased a country's average annual growth rate by only 0.4% from 1820 to 1995.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalOxford Development Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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