Conference name, dates, place

2007 International Conference on Ethiopian Development Studies (4th ICEDS) A Multidisciplinary Conference on the Challenges of Peace and Development in Ethiopia & the Horn of Africa, held in Kalamazoo, Michigan (WMU), August 2-4, 2007

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Presentation Date



In this study, a number of factors have been considered as potential determinants of institutional quality in sub-Saharan African countries. The empirical analysis has shown that historical factors such as state legitimacy determine the quality of current institutions in the region. Foreign aid dependence is found to erode quality of governance as measured by rule of law, government effectiveness and control of corruption. Variability of aid is found to counterbalance the destructive nature of high level of aid dependence. However, the last result is not retained in the robust regression analysis performed. Countries with strong political constraints on the ruling elites, proxied by checks and balances between executive and legislative branches of governments, and press freedom, are found to have better quality of institutions. Large countries and those closer to equator are disadvantaged in their success of building better quality institutions. Unlike the popular discussions, ethnic fractionalization and identity of last coloniser do not explain variations in institutional quality in the region.