How Do Political and Economic Institutions Affect Each Other?

52 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2014

Date Written: May 26, 2014


This paper provides evidence for the mutually reinforcing relation of political and economic institutions. To overcome problems of endogeneity I utilize lag instruments within a GMM framework for dynamic panel data. Employing recently developed tests, I show that limiting the number of lag instruments and collapsing the instrument matrix eliminates many and weak instrument biases. My major findings are that (i) improving economic institutions has a large positive effect on future political institutions, and (ii) political institutions have a positive but quantitatively smaller effect on current economic institutions. In addition, (iii) political instability positively affects future political institutions. In line with predictions from the institutional literature, the timing of effects is such that political institutions depend on lags of explanatory variables, while economic institutions are contemporaneously determined. Moreover, results are driven by countries with initially low political institutions implying that in these countries, much is to be gained from institutional reform.

JEL Classification: P16, O10

Suggested Citation

Braunfels, Elias, How Do Political and Economic Institutions Affect Each Other? (May 26, 2014). NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 19/2014, Available at SSRN: or

Elias Braunfels (Contact Author)

Oslo Economics ( email )

Kronprinsesse Märthas plass 1
Oslo, 0160

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