Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    Are new states more corrupt? Expert opinions vs. firms’ experiences
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2017-10) ; ;
    We find that new states are perceived to be more corrupt even though businesses do not report more bribery in newer states. This is suggestive of an unearned, and likely high, reputational cost to being a new state. These findings hold over a number of specifications that include additional economic, historical, and geographic controls.
  • Publication
    The Effects of Foreign Aid in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2011-08)
    This paper contributes to the aid effectiveness debate by applying a vector autoregression model to a panel of Sub-Saharan African countries. This method avoids the need for instrumental variables and allows one to analyse the impact of foreign aid on human development and on economic development simultaneously. The full sample results indicate a small increase in economic growth following a fairly substantial aid shock. The size of the effect puts the result somewhere between the arguments of aid optimists and those of aid pessimists. Economic growth is found to respond more to aid shocks in groups defined by better economic policies, poor institutions and high aid dependence. Human development, for which I use the growth rate of life expectancy as a proxy, responds positively to aid shocks in democracies and in good institutional environments.
  • Publication
    Open For Business? Institutions, Business Environment and Economic Development
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2010-12) ;
    Recent years have seen a significant focus in the literature on growth and development on the idea that legal and political institutions are the key determinant of economic development. The main finding of this paper is that the focus on the primacy of legal and political institutions may be misplaced and that business-friendly economic policies (proxied for here by the World Bank’s Doing Business indicator) are the key determinant of the level of income per capita. We find that a country’s Doing Business rank dominates a range of measures of legal and political institutional quality as an explanatory variable for income per capita. We also find the Doing Business rank to be a key explanatory variable for economic growth and that previous findings assigning a significant role to educational attainment are not robust to the inclusion of this new indicator in growth regressions.
  • Publication
    The mental health cost of corruption: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2011-11)
    This paper examines the effect that experiencing corruption has on an individual’s mental health using microeconomic data from the Afrobarometer surveys. The results show a statistically significant and economically meaningful effect in both binary and ordered probit models using both an experience of corruption index and a simple binary variable. Having to pay a bribe to obtain documents and permits, to avoid problems with the police or to access medical care emerge as the arenas in which corruption can have a damaging effect on mental health. Some evidence is presented that an individual needs to experience such corruption more than ‘once or twice’ for this effect to become evident.
  • Publication
    Foreign Direct Investment and The Ease of Doing Business
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2012-07) ;
    This paper examines the effect that a country’s business regulatory environment has on the amount of foreign direct investment it attracts. We use the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking to capture the costs that firms face when operating in a country. Several interesting results emerge. Firstly, the Doing Business rank is highly significant when included in a standard empirical FDI model estimated on data averaged over the period 2004-2009. Secondly, the significance of the overall Doing Business is driven by the Ease of Trading Across Borders component. We argue that this is a more intuitively appealing proxy for trade costs than the often used openness variable. The relationship does not seem to exist for the World’s poorest region, Sub-Saharan Africa, or for the OECD. Finally, we find no evidence that the ease of doing business of nearby countries has an effect on the FDI that a country gets in general. However, in terms of attracting FDI from the US, it helps to be near countries with good trade regulation and bad regulation in other respects.
  • Publication
    Corruption, Institutions and Regulation
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2011-03) ;
    We analyze the effects of corruption and institutional quality on the quality of business regulation. Our key findings indicate that corruption negatively aspects the quality of regulation and that general institutional quality is insignificant once corruption is controlled for. These findings hold over a number of specifications which include additional exogenous historical and geographic controls. The findings imply that policy-makers should focus on curbing corruption to improve regulation, over wider institutional reform.