The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust, and Inequality in International Perspective

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University of Chicago Press, Sep 1, 2011 - Business & Economics - 285 pages
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The relationship between government, virtue, and wealth has held a special fascination since Aristotle, and the importance of each frames policy debates today in both developed and developing countries. While it’s clear that low-quality government institutions have tremendous negative effects on the health and wealth of societies, the criteria for good governance remain far from clear.   In this pathbreaking book, leading political scientist Bo Rothstein provides a theoretical foundation for empirical analysis on the connection between the quality of government and important economic, political, and social outcomes. Focusing on the effects of government policies, he argues that unpredictable actions constitute a severe impediment to economic growth and development—and that a basic characteristic of quality government is impartiality in the exercise of power. This is borne out by cross-sectional analyses, experimental studies, and in-depth historical investigations. Timely and topical, The Quality of Government tackles such issues as political legitimacy, social capital, and corruption.
  

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Contents

What Is Quality of Government?
1
Quality of Government What You Get
34
Corruption The Killing Fields
58
Creating Political Legitimacy Representative Democracy versus Quality of Government
77
Curbing Corruption The Indirect Big Bang Approach
98
Quality of Government and the Welfare State
120
The Low TrustCorruptionInequality Trap
145
Quality of Government and Social Trust Two Experiments
164
The Tale of Two Countries Democratic Jamaica versus High Quality of Government Singapore
193
Preventing Societies from SelfDestructing
207
References
227
Index
265
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Bo Rothstein is the August Röhss Chair in Political Science at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, Social Traps and the Problem of Trust.

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