Uses and Abuses of Governance Indicators



Rapidly rising attention to the quality of governance in developing countries is driving rapid growth in the use of governance indicators by development analysts and academics, international investors and donors of official development assistance. While there are many hundred datasets on governance available, a few summary measurements dominate the market. This workshop discusses the most widely-used governance indicators and their statistical and conceptual limitations with respect to comparability over time and across countries. It explains the implications for research and suggests ways to deal with them. Work-in-progress on the relationship between governance and growth drawing on advanced panel-data methods serves as an example. Also see
Organizer’s note:
Many ERIM researchers work on internationally comparative puzzles (such as comparative finance, HRM, organization, or governance) or do research in international business. In doing so, we routinely employ governance indicators (World Bank, Transparency International, et cetera) to operationalize and measure the influence of background institutions on organizational processes. Although the use of such indicators is widely accepted, it is not necessarily unproblematic: the reliability and validity of these indicators is hardly ever addressed in our research articles. This interactive seminar will help us better understand the scientific quality of the measures we commonly use. The seminar will last two hours, and will largely be interactive and discussion-based. I therefore kindly ask you to register beforehand, simply by sending a message to me at If at all possible, please also let me know (1) which governance indicators you commonly use and for which purpose, and (2) which questions you would like Christiane to address.
Contact information:
Pursey Heugens