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What Makes Poor Countries Poor?

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What Makes Poor Countries Poor?

Institutional Determinants of Development

Michael J. Trebilcock , Mariana Mota Prado

Michael J. Trebilcock, University Professor and Chair in Law and Economics and Mariana Mota Prado, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Canada

2011 296 pp Hardback 978 0 85793 886 2
2011 Paperback 978 0 85793 891 6
ebook isbn 978 0 85793 887 9

Hardback £81.00 on-line price £72.90

Paperback £27.00 on-line price £21.60


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‘Law and development is a difficult field. It is at once multi-disciplinary and comparative; historical and policy driven; theoretical and empirical; positive and normative. Here at long last is a book that provides a masterful overview and critical analysis that will make this field accessible to students and teachers alike.’
– Katharina Pistor, Columbia Law School, US


Further information

This important book focuses on the idea that institutions matter for development, asking what lessons we have learned from past reform efforts, and what role lawyers can play in this field.

What Makes Poor Countries Poor? provides a critical overview of different conceptions and theories of development, situating institutional theories within the larger academic debate on development. The book also discusses why, whether, and how institutions matter in different fields of development. In the domestic sphere, the authors answer these questions by analyzing institutional reforms in the public (rule of law, political regimes and bureaucracy) and the private sectors (contracts, property rights, and privatization). In the international sphere, they discuss the importance of institutions for trade, foreign direct investment, and foreign aid.

This book will be essential reading for those interested in a concise introduction to the academic debates in this field, as well as for students, practitioners, and policymakers in law and development.

Full table of contents

Contents: Preface 1. The Ends and Means of Development 2. The Rule of Law and Development: In Search of the Holy Grail 3. The Property Rights/Contract Rights Development Nexus 4. Political Regimes, Ethnic Conflict and Development 5. Public Administration, Corruption and Development 6. State-owned Enterprises, Privatization and Development 7. International Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and Development 8. Foreign Aid and Development: The Aid-Institutions Paradox 9. Conclusion: In Search of Knowledge Index

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