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Institutions and growth: Testing the spatial effect using weight matrix based on the institutional distance concept

Ahmad, Mahyudin and Hall, Stephen G. (2012): Institutions and growth: Testing the spatial effect using weight matrix based on the institutional distance concept.

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Abstract

This study augments a standard growth model with institutional controls, and models the spatial dependence using geographical and institutional weight matrices. Spatial Durbin model is shown to be the most appropriate to describe the data and political institutions weight matrix best explains the institutional distance concept since it produces identical results to the exogenous geographical-based distance matrix. Overall, the findings give evidence to the institutional quality effects, particularly the security of property rights, on economic growth in the developing countries. We also find evidence of an indirect route of institutions spillover where institutions in a country lead to economic improvement in that country and generate positive effects on the neighbouring countries’ income growth. Furthermore, our study is able to show that countries with similar political institutional settings have an increased spatial dependence and converge to a similar level of growth.

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