Why are some countries poorer than others? Why are their differences in productivity across countries? What determines economic growth? The answer to these questions has been sought by economists for several decades now. The answer generally includes accumulation of physical and human capital, geography and natural resources, historical events and trade. However, recent research highlights that institutions are the fundamental cause of long-run economic growth and institutional differences are at the root of differences in development across countries. Institutions as defined by Nobel Laureate Douglass C. North “are the humanly devised constraints that structure political, economic, and social interaction. They consist of both informal constraints (sanctions, taboos, customs, traditions, and codes of conduct), and formal rules (constitutions, laws, property rights).”
If institutions are so important for economic development and growth, then the next big question is how we can change them. To this end, my research focuses on exploring the determinants of institutional change and the interconnections between different types of institutions. In particular, I am interested in the interplay of economic and political institutions with economic outcomes. Moreover, I am also interested in the exploring the effect of conflict and institutions on economic outcomes such as FDI and Tourism and how managing conflict and improving institutional quality can enhance these economic outcomes.