Quality of Government (La Porta et al.)

Research project

The dataset was compiled by Rafael La Porta and associates and contains data on various aspects of government performance. The dataset was used in a study that examined the determinants of the quality of governments in various countries. The results of the study were published in La Porta et al. (1999).


Quality of Government Data

Quality of Government Data


Quality of Government (La Porta et al.)




See below


223 countries

Last reviewed


Data types and sources

Expert-coded data and data from national accounts and official registers.

Data download

Quality of Government


The dataset contains 29 performance variables, mainly reproduced from other sources. The variables measure various aspects of government performance, such as interference in the private sector, government efficiency, output of public goods, size of the public sector, political freedom, the legal system and economic development.

Geographical coverage

The dataset contains data for 223 countries and territories, but the number of observations varies between variables.

Time coverage and updates

The dataset contains only one entry for each country on each variable. Some of the variables present average values for several years; others describe aspects that are seen as more or less permanent features of a country. No updates planned.


The variables are described in brief in La Porta et al. (1999), but users must refer to the original publications to learn how they are collected and coded.

Access conditions and cost

Available free of charge.

Access procedures

Predefined table.

Data formats


Comparability and data quality

Not examined. However, the authors state that in order to gain robustness to the extent possible they have used both objective data and survey measures from different data sources. As most of the variables are reproduced from other sources, some users may prefer to go directly to the original sources, especially since the documentation of the dataset is insufficient. Still, on some variables it expands on the original datasets.


La Porta, Rafael, Florencio Lopez-deSilanes, Andrei Shleifer and Robert Vishny. 1999. “The quality of government”. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 15 (1): 222-279.