Spatial spillovers in the development of institutions

Harry H. Kelejian, Peter Murrell, Oleksandr Shepotylo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine spatial spillovers in institutional development. Dependent variables are institutional measures reflecting politics, law, and governmental administration. The explanatory variable of interest is the level of institutions in bordering countries—a spatial lag of the dependent variable. Our spatial model directly leads to the identification strategy for the endogenous spatial lag. We implement new results in spatial econometrics to counter missing-data problems usually rife in spatial empirics. Spatial institutional spillovers are statistically significant and economically important. A counter-factual exercise – the non-existence of the USSR – reveals large direct and indirect spillovers. Numerous robustness exercises bolster conclusions, including yearly cross-section regressions, fixed effects estimates, and adding many extra explanatory variables. Moreover, we provide a new theoretical result showing the robustness of estimates in the presence of omitted variables. We extend the core model, allowing different effects for better and worse neighbors, using inverse distance weights, estimating the spatial-Durbin model, and using Polity's institutional measure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-315
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial spillovers in the development of institutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this