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Institutional Diagnostic Tool

We are undertaking a research initiative to design an institutional diagnostic tool that will permit policy-makers to identify weak institutional areas that constrain development and appropriate directions for reform.

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Bangladesh Institutional Diagnostic

Bangladesh has been identified as the third country study for research towards developing an institutional diagnostic tool. We are pleased to be undertaking this endeavour in partnership with the South Asian Network for Economic Modelling (SANEM). SANEM executive director Selim…

Benin Institutional Diagnostic

Benin is one of the focus countries for our studies to develop an institutional diagnostic tool. There are four stages to our approach for this research. Stage 1: Identification and justification of institutional areas Stage 2: Deep-dive thematic studies into…

Tanzania Institutional Diagnostic

Tanzania is one of the focus countries for our studies to develop an institutional diagnostic tool. We published an overview paper in September 2017 that outlines the methodology and research process for the Tanzania Institutional Diagnostic. There are four stages…

Further information

This institutional diagnostic exercise aims develop a framework that will help policymakers identify weak institutional areas that constrain development and inform appropriate directions for change.

The “institutional diagnostic” tool follows the same logic as the “growth diagnostic” tools developed by Hausmann, Rodrik and Velasco, which was designed to help policymakers design reforms based on effective growth strategies for different settings and among different constraints.

However, our aim is to develop a framework that goes beyond identifying growth strategies in response to identified economic constraints by focusing on understanding the nature of institutional weaknesses that may be responsible for those constraints.  In this research endeavour, “institutions” are broadly defined as the “formal or informal rules of the game expected to be followed, individually and collectively, by political, social and economic actors”. As such, they touch upon a variety of areas – political, judicial, economic, cultural, religious, etc.

Developing a growth-oriented institutional diagnostics toolkit which can be practically applied to analyse, and propose reforms for, binding institutional restrictions on economic development is a complicated endeavour. The main difficulties arise from: a) the multiplicity of institutions that may affect economic development; b) their tight link with the structure and nature of political power, which has to be considered as given; and c) our imperfect understanding of the functioning and evolution of institutions together with economic mechanisms and economic development.

For these reasons, our methodological approach has been heuristic and necessarily based on country pilot studies. So far, we have initiated this research for Tanzania, Benin and Bangladesh. Two more countries will be identified for pilot studies over the coming months.

It is the expectation that some general diagnostic tool will emerge from the juxtaposition of these studies.


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