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December 07, 2007

Comments

notsneaky

This kind of thing can sometimes serve as a useful commitment device when you're stuck in a procrastination game with your intertemporal self.

Andrew

I think it goes back to List, before Gerschenkron.

Then there are all those people up in CGIS who have to figure out how to implement the institutions, or why proper design is not guaranteed.

Mike Huben

It sounds to me as if nations have to sink or swim during institution building. And that incompetant institutions permit a host of ills from both internal and external sources.

Could trade restrictions facilitate internal development of competent institutions? Have they historically? Have they done so by accident or design?

Joao

On the way back from Cambodia, I find myself once again craving for someone to articulate that, in this process of buiding institutions, prioritization is as difficult as it is crucial... ministries with very very limited pools of capacity to do what's in their plate already, and different donors pulling them to undertake yet a few other functions, but with the same pay... lack of success leads to lack of ownership, lack of motivation, lack of confidence, and a new ministerial call for help, which prompts more donors to come aboard each and give them some more different things to do...

How could this dimension of the problem be so ignored? Even if we could identify what to prioritize in building institutions, does anyone want to bet that we would never get the donors stop pulling ministries apart?

Random African

"Could trade restrictions facilitate internal development of competent institutions? Have they historically? Have they done so by accident or design?"

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Per Kurowski

Dani Rodrik “Desirable institutions provide security of property rights, enforce contracts, stimulate entrepreneurship, foster integration in the world economy, maintain macroeconomic stability, manage risk-taking by financial intermediaries, supply social insurance and safety nets, and enhance voice and accountability.”

No! Put all these institutions in the same sack and you are bound to go wrong. “Provide security of property rights” is worlds apart from “stimulate entrepreneurship and manage risk-taking by financial intermediaries” In the first case you are creating the conditions for the market and society to interact in a civilized form, with the other two you might run the risks of interfering with the markets and the society interacting in a civilized form.

What has always astonished me how governments feel they can graduate into the next level without being required to complete the basic prerequisite courses.

Jack

Buried as I am in a daunting round of take-home finals, I sympathize. But it sounds like the synthesis will have been worth the effort.

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"[D]eveloping nations are different from advanced countries in that they face both greater challenges and more constraints. That this may require 'appropriate' institutions that differ from those that prevail in rich countries is an old theme that goes back at least to Alexander Gerschenkron".

This is a good summary of the major dilemma facing the developmental process of institution-building. However, it seems to me that this dilemma is bound to remain unresolved, insofar as we focus our attention on and preoccupy with the "good institutions" of the North, which are, by definition and construction, deemed to be conducive to development. The heart of the problem may well lie in the "bad institutions" of the South. If this is the case, the priority is to be put on thinking about the ways of getting rid of the "institutional pollution" generated by bad institutions in the South, rather than dealing with building Northern-type good institutions without eliminating the bad ones.

The idea here is, as a matter of fact, as simple as Tolstoy's opening sentence of Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".

Developed countries are all alike (in that they were all able to get rid of "bad" institutions first, and then build good institutions); every underdeveloped country is underdeveloped in its own way (in that each of them has been preserving their historically unique "bad" institutions, in juxtaposition to their good efforts to adopt good policies and to build good institutions).

Such a simple shift of focus from "the good" to "the bad" can make a big difference in terms of the workability of institution-building in the underdeveloped world, I suppose.

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Buried as I am in a daunting round of take-home finals, I sympathize. But it sounds like the synthesis will have been worth the effort.
How could this dimension of the problem be so ignored? Even if we could identify what to prioritize in building institutions, does anyone want to bet that we would never get the donors stop pulling ministries apart?

gold Guild Wars 2

Buried as I am in a daunting round of take-home finals, I sympathize. But it sounds like the synthesis will have been worth the effort.
How could this dimension of the problem be so ignored? Even if we could identify what to prioritize in building institutions, does anyone want to bet that we would never get the donors stop pulling ministries apart?

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Buried as I am in a daunting round of take-home finals, I sympathize. But it sounds like the synthesis will have been worth the effort.
How could this dimension of the problem be so ignored? Even if we could identify what to prioritize in building institutions, does anyone want to bet that we would never get the donors stop pulling ministries apart?

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