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Path-Finding Papers

EDI Overview – the first year

This video provides an overview of the first year of the programme, where 23 path-findings papers were produced by world class academics that identified the research gaps and set the priorities for the remaining four years of EDI.

Clientelistic politics and economic development – an overview

This paper provides an overview of the literature on political clientelism  and its relation to economic development. It starts by describing the range of mechanisms used by political operatives to monitor how specific voters vote in order to target clientelistic…

Formal Institutions and Development in Low-Income Countries: Positive and Normative Theory

This paper reviews and discusses the literature on formal institutions and development. We first discuss the mapping from institutions to economic development, with the main emphasis on the effect on economic growth. We thereafter discuss two main literatures on endogenous…

Formal and Informal Market Institutions: Embeddedness

Market exchange involves many cognitive and non-cognitive processes, e.g., search, inference, prediction, negotiation. Much attention has been devoted to these issues both in theory and in experimental economics. I focus on the enforcement of market transactions against opportunistic behavior. I…

Culture, Institutions, and Development

This paper presents a survey of the literature on culture in economics, emphasizing the effects of culture as well as the origins of cultural development. Research finds culture to have a large set of effects on economic behaviors, outcomes and …

The Dynamics of Family Systems: Lessons from Past and Present Times

This paper reviews the economic literature on how family systems respond to changes in resource endowments, outside economic opportunities, the development of markets, and surrounding institutions. On topics where economic contributions are scarce, we also provide insights from other disciplines,…

Institutions and Development: An Overview of Case Studies

Institutions are commonly defined as the rules of the game that societies play which in shared understanding act as constraints on and guidelines for economic performance. This paper provides an overview of case studies from the two largest developing countries,…

Institutions, Growth Accelerations and Growth Collapses

A next step forward in examining economic growth and institutions is examining the frequency, timing and magnitude of “growth episodes”—discrete accelerations and de-celerations in medium to long run growth.  This will be challenging as to the extent that very long-run…

Institutions for Infrastructure in Developing Countries

The paper surveys the very heterogeneous economic literature on the scope and limits of efforts to match institutional constraints and needs, on the one hand, and infrastructure policy and project designs, on the other, to increase the odds of improving…

Institutions, Firm Financing and Growth

This paper reviews and synthesizes current knowledge on the role of institutions on firm financing and growth in developing countries. First, the paper presents stylized facts on the different institutional constraints under which firms in developing countries operate. Next, the…

Finance, Institutions and Development: Literature Survey and Research Agenda

This paper takes stock of and provides a critical review of several literatures, notably the theoretical and empirical work on finance and growth and studies on the determinants of financial development. These two literatures are linked as the sustainable expansion…

Firms, Workers and Labor Markets

This paper provides a selective review of evidence from labor markets in low-income countries. The aim is to synthesize this literature to consolidate what is known about the key drivers of worker outcomes (including those of micro-entrepreneurs), firm behavior, and the interaction between…

Education, Institutions and Economic Development

A large share of children in low income countries learn little and complete their primary education lacking even basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills. We review the experimental literature on teacher effort, knowledge, and skills – areas we argue are…

Technological change, Marxist contradictions and institutional revolutions: a historical perspective

The paper discusses Marx’s view on the relationship between technological change and institutional change as presented in the famous preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy.  What Marx meant by a contradiction between the base and the…

Trade Related Institutions and Development

The paper focuses on the role played by Trade Related Institutions (TRIs) in shaping trade flows and their development impact in low income countries and how these TRIs are shaped by international trade. Three types of TRIs are examined: i)…

Foreign Aid and Governance: A survey

This paper surveys the literature on the two-way relationship between development aid and the quality of institutions in developing countries. Aid may improve institutions, e.g. when conditionality succeeds, but it can also have unintended effects that are typically negative, e.g….

Conflict and Development

In this review, we examine the links between economic development and social conflict. By eco- nomic development, we refer broadly to aggregate changes in per-capita income and wealth, or in the distribution of that wealth. By social conflict, we refer…

Gender Institutions, and Economic Development

Gender relations are a key institution governing important aspects of production and reproduction of societies. They are guided by formal institutions as well as informal norms and values. As this survey shows, there is great regional heterogeneity in gender inequality…

Institutions, the environment, and development

Environmental problems may be classified by the scale of the relevant externalities. Some externalities are primarily local, for example, those concerning the management of resources like forests, pastures and inland fisheries, or local air and water pollution. Others are mainly regional…

Institutions and Economic Inequality

I ask what clues do historical and contemporary data provide for theory building and empirical work to enhance our understanding of the relationship between institutions and inequality. The survey begins with a brief overview of the role of institutions in…

Group inequality in democracies: lessons from cross-national experiences

Group inequality is a prominent feature of many modern democracies. The purpose of this paper is to take stock of what we know about the ways in which major democracies have viewed social groups and addressed inequalities between them. Countries…

Migration, Institutions and Development

This survey examines the relationship between community networks and migration. Adding networks to the Roy model, the workhorse model of migration in economics, is shown to reconcile key stylized facts on migration with the theory. This addition is supported by…

Media as a Tool for Institutional Change in Development

This paper reviews the channels through which the media can be a tool of institutional development, building the argument in two parts. First I focus on the media as a tool for accountability: by providing information on candidates ex ante,…

At the Intersection: A Review of Institutions in Economic Development

We present accepted basic arguments on the role of institutions in development and then discuss the corresponding empirical evidence in support (or not) of those arguments. Methodologically, our emphasis is on experimental evidence wherever available, and thematically we focus on…

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