Governance Redux: The Empirical Challenge

40 Pages Posted: 7 May 2004

See all articles by Daniel Kaufmann

Daniel Kaufmann

Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI); The Brookings Institution

Date Written: 2004


This paper is based on the governance chapter contributions to the 2003/04 Global Competitiveness Report (GCR). Building from the 2002/03 chapter contribution to the GCR, it argues that governance continues to be at a crossroad, its underperformance being evident in most regions and across many countries. This ('governance policy gap') contrasts with the strides that have been made in many countries in improving macro-economic policies for well over a decade. Based on a worldwide survey of enterprises carried out for the GCR, we find that firms from emerging economies single out corruption and excessive bureaucracy among the top constraints to their business operations, while excessive bureaucracy and the tax regime are identified as top constraints by the respondent firms from the OECD. Many countries currently have levels of governance that are insufficient to support their income levels and/or growth path, namely they experience a 'governance deficit', which we suggest it can be quantified. We also carry out a simple empirical exploration of the validity of legal-historical origins in determining governance performance in emerging economies nowadays, and provide a brief synthesis of findings on inequality of influence (by vested interests), and governance at the city level.

Keywords: Governance, Competitiveness, Corruption, Business Survey, Influence,

JEL Classification: K42, M21, O10, O17, P16

Suggested Citation

Kaufmann, Daniel, Governance Redux: The Empirical Challenge (2004). Available at SSRN: or

Daniel Kaufmann (Contact Author)

Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) ( email )

80 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
United States


The Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States


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