Emmanuelle Auriol, Jean-Philippe Platteau, 09 April 2017

The extent to which Islam is responsible for the problems encountered in countries in which it dominates has been the subject of much attention. This column explores the effect of religions with differing organisational structures on progressive institutional reforms, state corruption, and political stability. Decentralised religions such as Islam are more conducive to institutional stagnation and political instability than centralised religions such as Catholicism or Eastern Christianity, with negative consequences for long-term development.

Toke Aidt, Martin Gassebner, 16 December 2008

Are autocracies less integrated in the world economy than democracies? This column provides an overview of recent research on this question and argues that autocratic states trade less with the rest of the world than democracies. This may be one reason why many autocracies have failed to develop economically.

Tim Besley, Masayuki Kudamatsu, 05 July 2007

Autocracies are bad, but are sometimes economically successful. Empirical analysis provides lessons on how to institutionalise good government in a wider context.

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