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Governance Matters VII: Aggregate and Individual Governance Indicators, 1996-2007


Daniel Kaufmann


The Brookings Institution

Aart Kraay


World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Massimo Mastruzzi


World Bank Institute

June 24, 2008

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4654

Abstract:     
This paper reports on the latest update of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) research project, covering 212 countries and territories and measuring six dimensions of governance between 1996 and 2007: Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Control of Corruption. The latest aggregate indicators are based on hundreds of specific and disaggregated individual variables measuring various dimensions of governance, taken from 35 data sources provided by 32 different organizations. The data reflect the views on governance of public sector, private sector and NGO experts, as well as thousands of citizen and firm survey respondents worldwide. We also explicitly report the margins of error accompanying each country estimate. These reflect the inherent difficulties in measuring governance using any kind of data. We also briefly describe the evolution of the WGI since its inception, and show that the margins of error on the aggregate governance indicators have declined over the years, even though they still remain non-trivial. We find that even after taking margins of error into account, the WGI permit meaningful cross-country comparisons as well as monitoring progress over time. In less than a decade, a substantial number of countries exhibit statistically significant improvements in at least one dimension of governance, while other countries exhibit deterioration in some dimensions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 105

Keywords: Governance, corruption, rule of law, indicators, voice

JEL Classification: E00,H00,O10,C1,C3,C42,C43,D8,HO,H4,K0,K2,K4

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Date posted: June 20, 2008 ; Last revised: June 26, 2008

Suggested Citation

Kaufmann, Daniel and Kraay, Aart and Mastruzzi, Massimo, Governance Matters VII: Aggregate and Individual Governance Indicators, 1996-2007 (June 24, 2008). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4654. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1148386 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1148386

Contact Information

Daniel Kaufmann (Contact Author)
The Brookings Institution ( email )
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-797-6257 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.thekaufmannpost.net
Aart Kraay
World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )
1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-5756 (Phone)
202-522-3518 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/akraay
Massimo Mastruzzi
World Bank Institute ( email )
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
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