Evolution of Institutions in Ghana and Implications for Economic Growth

Working paper 710
Author(s): 
Wisdom Akpalu, George Agbenyo, Emmanuel Maluke Letete and Mare Sarr
Publication date: 
September, 2017

This report discusses the evolution of institutions and compares the quality of key formal institutions (Political and Civil Liberties, Political Instability, and Property Rights) from Ghana’s colonial era to its post-independence. The Political and Civil Liberties and Political Instability are studies from 1820 to 2010, while Property Rights were analyzed for the periods 1849-2010. It has been found that, on average, the post-independent democratic regimes guaranteed the best political and civil liberties, and property rights. However, the democratic regime recorded the highest documented political instability, which includes number of lives lost, political arrests and assassinations, declaration of State of Emergency, and armed related attacks. Further analysis revealed that within the post-independent era, compared to the military regimes, democratic regimes registered significantly higher economic growth rate, all else equal. By implication, better political and civil liberties, and property rights institutions positively correlate with economic growth

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