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Civil Liberties, Democracy, And the Performance of Government Projects

By Isham, Jonathan

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Book Id: WPLBN0000236969
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.3 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: Civil Liberties, Democracy, And the Performance of Government Projects  
Author: Isham, Jonathan
Language: English
Subject: Economics, Finance & business, World Bank.
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: The World Bank


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Isham, J. (n.d.). Civil Liberties, Democracy, And the Performance of Government Projects. Retrieved from


Discussions of governance often generate more rhetorical heat than empirical light. Governance, like rel igion, is a broad topic that inspires strong beliefs and is difficult to measure reliably. Even a consensus on definitions is elusive: what do we mean by governance? A World Bank policy paper defines governance as ?the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country?s eco- and social resources for development,? which does not easily lend itself to quantification (World Bank 1992, p. 1). ?We hope to shed some empirical light on one dimension of governance by demonstrating a positive link between a country?s civil liberties and the performance of the government?s investment projects.? Governance involves actions of publicly vested authorities. We label three interrelated dimensions of government action as what, how, and how well. What public decisions are taken?including the enactment of laws, policies, and regulations?affects the allocation of public expenditures and investments and determines incentives for all other actors. How public decisions and authority are exercised depends on underlying social structures, political structures, and official and unofficial institutions. How well public; decisions and authority are exercised determines the efficacy of government in accomplishing its objectives,...


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