Governance in Developing Asia
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Governance in Developing Asia

Public Service Delivery and Empowerment

Edited by Anil B. Deolalikar, Shikha Jha and Pilipinas F. Quising

Governance in Developing Asia is one of the first books of its kind to provide an overview of the role that better governance and citizen empowerment can play in improving public service delivery in developing Asia. The World Development Report 2004 set a framework for public service delivery in terms of the short and long roads to accountability of service providers to citizens. More than a decade on, this important book revisits the issue and departs from the WDR framework, highlighting its shortcomings and offering alternative solutions. The contributors present fresh evidence on the relationship between governance and development outcomes, including growth and indicators of living standards. They argue that the Asia-Pacific region must do better in delivering essential public services if it wishes to continue improving the quality of life for millions of its people. They show how the quantity and quality of public services in a country can be improved if the government actively solicits citizen involvement in service delivery.
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Chapter 3: Do governance indicators explain growth performance? A cross-country analysis

Xuehui Han, Haider A. Khan and Juzhong Zhuang


Development policy discussions in recent years have focused on the need for good governance. While the intrinsic value of good governance as a development end is now universally accepted, its instrumental value as a means to better development performance is still not well understood, despite the emergence of a considerable and still growing body of literature (Rodrik 2008; Acemoglu and Robinson 2012). Two important developments explain the rising concern over governance and its role in development since the late 1980s. One is the emergence of a new stream of the economics literature known as the new institutional economics. This emphasizes impersonal and impartial institutions for protecting property rights and contracts, which encourage the extension of market exchange, investment and innovation. The second development is increasing concern that the effectiveness of development assistance depends not only on the nature of the policies pursued, but also on the nature of government (Burnside and Dollar 2000, for example). On the basis of empirical observations, Easterly (2006) argues that countries pursuing destructive policies such as high inflation, high black market premiums and chronically high budget deficits may miss out on economic growth, but that it does not follow that growth can simply be created with macroeconomic stability.

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