Institutions and Economic Fortunes in Comparative Perspectives

Article


Kufuor, K. 2020. Institutions and Economic Fortunes in Comparative Perspectives. Zanzibar Yearbook of Law. 10, pp. 35-59.
AuthorsKufuor, K.
Abstract

Why some countries are rich and other poor, unable to escape the poverty trap remains a problem that among other scholars, legal academics have sought to answer. This paper compares the economic fortunes of three former colonies – Haiti, Liberia and Botswana and points to the role institutions have played in their prosperity trajectories. At the heart of the paper is the claim that to ignore the institutional architecture of a society risks overlooking an essential ingredient for economic development. However, the paper also acknowledges the difficulties in “getting institutions right” as once a bad set of institutions takes root, they are difficult to overturn. The paper asserts that Botswana has the benefit of high-quality institutions that have helped propel it to upper middle-income status while Haiti and Liberia remain trapped in a matrix of bad institutions and these low-quality institutions prevent these two countries from breaking out of their poverty. The research methods for the paper are qualitative, relying on primary and secondary material to explore the question about economic transformation in developing countries. The paper is informed also by the New Institutional Economics methods of research - dissecting economic transformation in 3 developing countries by reference to law and history

KeywordsInstitutions; path dependence; development; history
JournalZanzibar Yearbook of Law
Journal citation10, pp. 35-59
ISSN2591-6785
2591-6777
Year2020
PublisherZanzibar Legal Services Centre
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Copyright holder© 2020 Zanzibar Legal Services Centre (ZLSC)
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