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Institutional convergence: exit or voice?

Research paper by Joshua C. Hall

Indexed on: 09 Sep '16Published on: 01 Oct '16Published in: Journal of Economics and Finance



Abstract

Abstract There is a small but growing literature on the determinants of economic freedom. This paper contributes to this literature in two ways. First, it is empirically shown that β-convergence in economic freedom occurred from 1980 to 2010. Countries with low levels of economic freedom in 1980 “catch up” at a rate of 0.7 percent a year on average, ceteris paribus. Second, the structural characteristics that contribute to this institutional convergence are documented. Conditional convergence estimates suggest democratic institutions do not con- tribute to conditional convergence. Exitability, a variable that captures how easy it is for citizens to “vote with their feet” is related to the change in economic freedom from 1980 to 2010 in a statistically significant manner across all specifications. This provides some preliminary evidence as to the importance of “exit” versus “voice” with respect to the question of institutional change.AbstractThere is a small but growing literature on the determinants of economic freedom. This paper contributes to this literature in two ways. First, it is empirically shown that β-convergence in economic freedom occurred from 1980 to 2010. Countries with low levels of economic freedom in 1980 “catch up” at a rate of 0.7 percent a year on average, ceteris paribus. Second, the structural characteristics that contribute to this institutional convergence are documented. Conditional convergence estimates suggest democratic institutions do not con- tribute to conditional convergence. Exitability, a variable that captures how easy it is for citizens to “vote with their feet” is related to the change in economic freedom from 1980 to 2010 in a statistically significant manner across all specifications. This provides some preliminary evidence as to the importance of “exit” versus “voice” with respect to the question of institutional change.βceteris paribusExitability