This paper provides new evidences about the determinants of institutional quality. Given the shortcomings of governance indicators, we first discuss the criteria employed to judge institutional quality. Then, we identify the factors that, according to these criteria, shape the quality of institutions. The results of this empirical research show that the main determinants of the quality of the institutions of a given country are its income per head and its income distribution, the efficiency of its tax system and the educational level of its population. Interestingly, some of the variables identified in previous literature (location, ethnolinguistic fragmentation, the origin of the legal system or colonial origin) either do not have any impact on institutional quality or they impact indirectly through the variables previously mentioned.
Institutional Quality Development Income Distribution Tax System