Kraay, Aart

Development Research Group, The World Bank
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Macroeconomics, Debt management, Economic growth, Inequality and shared prosperity
Development Research Group, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Aart Kraay is Director of Research in the Development Research Group at the World Bank. He joined the World Bank in 1995 after earning a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University (1995), and a B.Sc. in economics from the University of Toronto (1990). His research interests include international capital movements, growth and inequality, governance, and the Chinese economy. His research on these topics has been published in scholarly journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Monetary Economics, the Journal of International Economics, and the Journal of the European Economic Association. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Development Economics, and co-editor of the World Bank Economic Review. He has also held visiting positions at the International Monetary Fund and the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and has taught at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Citations 339 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Governance Indicators : Where Are We, Where Should We Be Going?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-10) Kaufmann, Daniel ; Kraay, Aart
    Scholars, policymakers, aid donors, and aid recipients acknowledge the importance of good governance for development. This understanding has spurred an intense interest in more refined, nuanced, and policy-relevant indicators of governance. In this paper we review progress to date in the area of measuring governance, using a simple framework of analysis focusing on two key questions: (i) what do we measure? and, (ii) whose views do we rely on? For the former question, we distinguish between indicators measuring formal laws or rules 'on the books', and indicators that measure the practical application or outcomes of these rules 'on the ground', calling attention to the strengths and weaknesses of both types of indicators as well as the complementarities between them. For the latter question, we distinguish between experts and survey respondents on whose views governance assessments are based, again highlighting their advantages, disadvantages, and complementarities. We also review the merits of aggregate as opposed to individual governance indicators. We conclude with some simple principles to guide the refinement of existing governance indicators and the development of future indicators. We emphasize the need to: transparently disclose and account for the margins of error in all indicators; draw from a diversity of indicators and exploit complementarities among them; submit all indicators to rigorous public and academic scrutiny; and, in light of the lessons of over a decade of existing indicators, to be realistic in the expectations of future indicators.
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    Government Matters III : Governance Indicators for 1996-2002
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-08) Kaufmann, Daniel ; Kraay, Aart ; Mastruzzi, Massimo
    The authors present estimates of six dimensions of governance covering 199 countries and territories for four time periods: 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002. These indicators are based on several hundred individual variables measuring perceptions of governance, drawn from 25 separate data sources constructed by 18 different organizations. The authors assign these individual measures of governance to categories capturing key dimensions of governance and use an unobserved components model to construct six aggregate governance indicators in each of the four periods. They present the point estimates of the dimensions of governance as well as the margins of errors for each country for the four periods. The governance indicators reported here are an update and expansion of previous research work on indicators initiated in 1998 (Kaufmann, Kraay, and Zoido-Lobat 1999a,b and 2002). The authors also address various methodological issues, including the interpretation and use of the data given the estimated margins of errors.
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    Governance Matters VII : Aggregate and Individual Governance Indicators 1996-2007
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-06) Kaufmann, Daniel ; Kraay, Aart ; Mastruzzi, Massimo
    This paper reports on the latest update of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) research project, covering 212 countries and territories and measuring six dimensions of governance between 1996 and 2007: Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Control of Corruption. The latest aggregate indicators are based on hundreds of specific and disaggregated individual variables measuring various dimensions of governance, taken from 35 data sources provided by 32 different organizations. The data reflect the views on governance of public sector, private sector and NGO experts, as well as thousands of citizen and firm survey respondents worldwide. The authors also explicitly report the margins of error accompanying each country estimate. These reflect the inherent difficulties in measuring governance using any kind of data. The authors also briefly describe the evolution of the WGI since its inception, and show that the margins of error on the aggregate governance indicators have declined over the years, even though they still remain non-trivial. The authors find that even after taking margins of error into account, the WGI permit meaningful cross-country comparisons as well as monitoring progress over time. In less than a decade, a substantial number of countries exhibit statistically significant improvements in at least one dimension of governance, while other countries exhibit deterioration in some dimensions. These aggregate indicators, spanning more than a decade, together with the disaggregated individual indicators, are available at
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    The Worldwide Governance Indicators Project : Answering the Critics
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-03) Kaufmann, Daniel ; Kraay, Aart ; Mastruzzi, Massimo
    The Worldwide Governance Indicators, reporting estimates of six dimensions of governance for over 200 countries between 1996 and 2005, have become widely used among policymakers and academics. They have also attracted some explicit written criticisms. In this short paper the authors synthesize 11 critiques offered by four recent papers. They then refute them as either conceptually incorrect or empirically unsubstantiated.
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    Governance Matters III : Governance Indicators for 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004-05) Kaufmann, Daniel ; Kraay, Aart ; Mastruzzi, Massimo
    This article presents estimates of six dimensions of governance for 199 countries and territories for 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002 developed in the context of an ongoing project to measure governance across countries. Section one describes the data used in developing this round of the governance indicators, which include several new sources. Data sources used in the earlier studies were updated forward to 2002 and backward to 1996, and previously estimated indicators for 1998 and 2000were revised to reflect the new data. The aggregation procedure, described in section two, provides not only estimates of governance for each country but also measures of the precision or reliability of these estimates. Although the new data have improved the precision of the governance indicators, the margins of error remain large relative to the units in which governance is measured, so that comparisons across countries and especially over time should be made with caution.