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I'm new to this subject, and I'm looking for papers on measuring the 'quality' of institutions and their possible role in the development of a country.

ANy help would be appreciated.

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"Institutions" can be defined in many ways... I will guess some things that might interest you:

Transparency international measures every year corruption perceptions in many countries.

The World Bank also measures many aspects of instutional framework of countries, for example 'ease of doing business'.

OECD does a lot of analysis, you might find something interesting.

Definitely check out Daron Acemoglu's work and maybe you can get some ideas from Niall Ferguson.

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Daron Acemoglu's papers on institution could be a very good way to enter in this kind of issues.

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Articles

These papers discuss institutions as institutions were covered in the economic literature. Better to read them in a chronological order.

  • Acemoglu, Daron, and Simon Johnson. “Unbundling Institutions.” Journal of Political Economy 113, no. 5 (2005): 949–95.
  • Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson. “Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series No. 10481 (2004). http://www.nber.org/papers/w10481.
  • Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson, and James A. Robinson. “The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation.” American Economic Review 91, no. 5 (2001): 1369–1401.
  • Banerjee, Abhijit, and Esther Duflo. Under the Thumb of History? Political Institutions and the Scope for Action. Working Paper. National Bureau of Economic Research, January 2014. http://www.nber.org/papers/w19848.
  • Knack, Stephen, and Philip Keefer. “Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures.” Economics & Politics 7, no. 3 (November 1, 1995): 207–27. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0343.1995.tb00111.x.
  • North, Douglass C. “Institutions.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 5, no. 1 (February 1991): 97–112. doi:10.1257/jep.5.1.97.
  • Rodrik, Dani. “Second-Best Institutions.” American Economic Review 98, no. 2 (2008): 100–104.
  • Xu, Chenggang. “The Fundamental Institutions of China’s Reforms and Development.” Journal of Economic Literature 49, no. 4 (2011): 1076–1151.

Data

Many sources, actually. The best one is the Quality of Government dataset, which includes different measures of institutions in a single big panel:

http://qog.pol.gu.se/data

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