In 2009, the French Development Agency (AFD) initiated a partnership with the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (UNU-MERIT/Maastricht University) with a view to exploring the conceptual and econometric relationships between institutions and long-term growth. As a development bank with a long-term lending horizon, AFD is particularly interested in better understanding the determinants of countries’ long-term economic, social, and political trajectory.
AFD has thus developed a programme on “Institutions, Governance, and Long-term Growth” dealing with the five following dimensions:
- Measuring institutions and discussing the meaning of such measures, notably through the Institutional Profiles Database;
- Testing the econometric relationship between institutional measures, long-term growth and development;
- Exploring through a series of country case studies the historical relationship between processes of economic accumulation, forms of political organisation, and social cohesion;
- Discussing conceptual frameworks for making sense of the interaction between political, social and economic forces in the process of development;
- Developing methodologies for political economy analyses.
The UNU-MERIT team is involved in the five dimensions with a particular focus on the first two. Its primary objective is to explore the Institutional Profiles Database (IPD) jointly developed by AFD and the French Ministry of the Economy since 2001. Institutional Profiles Database is unique by its scope (about 350 elementary questions pertaining to institutional dimensions covering 148 countries in 2012), its free access to raw data, and its ambition to incorporate the most recent theoretical advances in the field of political economy. You can download the IPD data via this website.
Our working paper series intends to convey the results of our ongoing research, and in so doing to reflect the wealth of issues that can be fruitfully addressed from an “institutionalist” perspective. We hope that readers will find these papers stimulating and useful to develop their own understanding and research.