The narrative of development economics is now infused with discussions of institutions. Economists debate whether institutions--or other factors altogether (geography, culture, or religion)--are central to development. In this volume, leading scholars in development economics view institutions from a microeconomic perspective, offering both theoretical overviews and empirical analyses spanning three continents. After substantial introductory chapters by Pranab Bardhan and Marcel Fafchamps, two scholars who have published important work on this topic, each of the remaining chapters examines a particular set of institutions in a unique setting. These chapters treat the effects of Angola's violent conflict on that country's development; institutional accountability in Uganda; the effect of Indonesia's ethnic diversity on the distribution of public goods; the impact of trade liberalization on India's investment climate; extended family networks in Mexico; and a microeconomic perspective on land rights in Ethiopia.
The chapters demonstrate the remarkable heterogeneity of institutions--policy change is mediated through local market institutions, government institutions, and families--as well as the empirical and methodological ingenuity of current research into this crucial topic. Contributors Manuela Angelucci, Oriana Bandiera, Pranab Bardhan, Timothy Besley, Martina Bjorkman, Robin Burgess, Giacomo De Giorgi, Stefan Dercon, Marcel Fafchamps, Rajshri Jayaraman, Pramila Krishnan, Eliana La Ferrara, Gilat Levy, Marcos A. Rangel, Imram Rasul, Ritva Reinikka, Jakob Svensson