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

Posted: 16 Jun 2008

See all articles by Philip Keefer

Philip Keefer

Inter-American Development Bank

Date Written: Fall 2007

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Keefer, Philip, Comment on Evaluating Recipes for Development Success : The Policy Usefulness of Institutional and Political Analyses of Development (Fall 2007). The World Bank Research Observer, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 159-164, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1146336 or http://dx.doi.org/lkm008

Philip Keefer (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

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Washington, DC 20577
United States
202-623-1961 (Phone)

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