Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

The Empirical Institutions-Growth Literature: Is Something Amiss at the Top?


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The initial publication of the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World index prompted an explosion of empirical research on the institutions-growth relationship. To date, little of this research has appeared in the top economics journals. Subsequently, a number of empirical growth studies using alternative sources of data on institutions have appeared in top journals. This paper explores the two tracks of empirical research on the institutions-growth relationship—one track that recognizes all the relevant literature, and one that seems wanting in that respect.