Measuring Institutions: Indicators of Political Rights, Property Rights and Political Instability in Zimbabwe
41 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 14, 2011
The current, persistent growth problem in Zimbabwe is often attributed to poor economic and political institutional frameworks characterised by insecure property rights and an unreliable rule of law. An empirical test of this hypothesis presents some methodological difficulties. Although political scientists have been constructing measures of social and political dimensions of societies for some time, such measures are not available over sufficiently long time runs to inspire confidence in their usefulness in being able to address the long-run and dynamic questions that arise when linking economic performance and institutions. The aim of this paper is to assemble a new set of political and economic institutional indicators for Zimbabwe covering the period 1946 to 2005. While the new indices span for a significantly longer time period, they are highly correlated with existing, widely used institutional indices produced by the Freedom House, the Heritage Foundation and the Fraiser Institute for the time periods for which these exist despite having been independently produced. The new dataset contributes towards understanding the institutional dimension of Zimbabwe's persistent economic decline.
Keywords: Institutions, Political freedom, Property rights, Zimbabwe
JEL Classification: E02, K00, N4, O1
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