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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, 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 policy-makers in law and development.