A Peek under the Engine Hood: The Methodology of Subnational Economic Governance Indices

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© 2011 T.M.C.ASSER PRESS and Contributors. In recent years, The Asia Foundation (The Foundation) has conducted a series of Economic Governance Indexes (EGIs) in countries throughout South and Southeast Asia including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. EGIs are country-specific diagnostic tools used to assess and rank sub-national units (provinces, states, districts, etc.) on various aspects of their regulatory environments. This article reviews the basic theoretical and programmatic rationale for the EGI. The overall rationale for this tool stems from the idea that economic governance impacts private sector development – independent of structural endowments such as location, infrastructure, and human capital. Therefore, good economic governance practices explain why some sub-national units out-perform others in spite of having similar initial endowments. EGIs have become an important tool to provide relevant economic governance information to policy makers, business leaders and citizens. Examining the methodological principles underlying the index approach, this article also describes how the three primary EGI methodological elements anticipate potential pitfalls and how they have been addressed within the methodology.





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Malesky, EJ, and ANDN Merchant Vega (2011). A Peek under the Engine Hood: The Methodology of Subnational Economic Governance Indices. Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, 3(02). pp. 186–219. 10.1017/S1876404511200034 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17763.

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Edmund Malesky

Professor of Political Science

Malesky is a specialist on Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. Currently, Malesky's research agenda is very much at the intersection of Comparative and International Political Economy, falling into three major categories: 1) Authoritarian political institutions and their consequences; 2) The political influence of foreign direct investment and multinational corporations; and 3) Political institutions, private business development, and formalization.

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