Instituciones y desarrollo nacional en América Latina: Un estudio comparativo

Translated title of the contribution: Institutions and national development in Latin America: A comparative study

Alejandro Portes, Lori D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We review the theoretical and empirical literatures on the role of institutions on national development as a prelude to present a more rigorous and measurable definition of the concept and a methodology to study this relationship at the national and subnational levels. The existing research literature features conflicting definitions of the concept of "institutions' and empirical tests based mostly on reputational indices, with countries as units of analysis. The present study's methodology is based on a set of five strategic organizations studied comparatively in five Latin American countries. These include key federal agencies, public administrative organizations, and stock exchanges. Systematic analysis of results show a pattern of differences between economicallyoriented institutions and those entrusted with providing basic services to the general population. Consistent differences in institutional quality also emerge across countries, despite similar levels of economic development. Using the algebraic methods developed by Ragin, we test six hypotheses about factors determining the developmental character of particular institutions. Implications of results for theory and for methodological practices of future studies in this field are discussed.

Translated title of the contributionInstitutions and national development in Latin America: A comparative study
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)491-520
Number of pages30
JournalDesarrollo Economico
Issue number200
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Institutions and national development in Latin America: A comparative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this