Globalization and Institutional Quality – A Panel Data Analysis

Reprint No. 2014:37

Author(s): Andreas Bergh, Irina Mirkina and Therese NilssonYear: 2014 Title: Oxford Development Studies Volume (No.): 42 (3) Pages: 365–394
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

Using data on institutional quality and the KOF Globalization Index, we examine over 100 countries from 1992 to 2010 to analyse the relationship between economic and social globalization and six measures of institutional quality, thereby testing Montesquieu's doux commerce thesis, that economic and social interaction lead to improved institutional quality. Results suggest that increasing economic flows and social globalization associate with improving institutions in rich countries, while correlations are negative in poor countries. Our findings also indicate that the negative relationship in poor countries relates to the abundance of natural resources, and should not be interpreted as a causal effect. In summary, results are consistent with the doux commerce thesis but also suggest that the previous findings of positive effects of trade on institutional quality are driven by the relationship in rich countries. We should not expect globalization alone to mitigate the adverse effects of the resource curse in developing countries.

Bergh, Andreas, Irina Mirkina and Therese Nilsson (2014), "Globalization and Institutional Quality – A Panel Data Analysis". Oxford Development Studies 42(3), 365–394.

Andreas Bergh


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Therese Nilsson


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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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