Government effectiveness index

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The government effectiveness index is a ranking of state capacity developed by the World Bank Group. It measures the quality of public services, civil service, policy formulation and implementation, and the credibility of a government's commitment to improving or maintaining these aspects. The index includes 193 countries, each scored from -2.5 (less effective) to 2.5 (more effective).[1] It is part of a broader set of government quality indicators.[2][3]

The World Bank releases the government effectiveness index as one of six worldwide governance indicators. The others are voice and accountability, political stability, regulatory quality, the rule of law, and control of corruption.[4] Daniel Kaufmann of the Natural Resource Governance Institute and Aart Kraay of the World Bank Development Research Group produce these indexes.[4] They consider these six indexes as dimensions of governance.[5]


The government effectiveness index makes use of 47 variables. These variables span a range from the quality of bureaucracy to the infrastructure for the distribution of goods and services. They come from 32 different sources, including the African Development Bank and the Global Insight Business Conditions and Risk Indicators.[6] These variables undergo rescaling and are then combined using the unobserved components model.[7]


As an overall measure, the government effectiveness index doesn't provide the means to pinpoint specific issues within a country or to analyse particular solutions. However, it is useful for comparing countries in general, tracking a particular country's improvement, or discerning trends.

Government effectiveness strongly correlates with life satisfaction, GDP per capita, and education expenditure. According to Guisan,[2] it promotes development.

Relationship with the Effective Altruism Movement[edit]

The government effectiveness index has found relevance in the context of the Effective altruism movement. The Effective Altruism movement promotes using evidence and reason to determine the most effective ways to guide giving. In this context, the government effectiveness index provides a broad, data-driven measure of government functionality that can inform government decisions. By offering an evidence-based evaluation of government functionality, the index aligns with the movement's emphasis on rigorous, data-driven approaches to altruism.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Government effectiveness - Country rankings". The Global Economy. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b Guisan, Maria-Carmen* (2009). "GOVERNMENT EFFECTIVENESS, EDUCATION, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND WELL-BEING: ANALYSIS OF EUROPEAN COUNTRIES IN COMPARISON WITH THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, 2000-2007" (PDF). Applied Econometrics and International Development. 9 (1): 1. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  3. ^ Kaufmann, Daniel and Kraay, Aart, "Growth Without Governance" (November 2002). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2928.
  4. ^ a b "Worldwide Governance Indicators". World Bank. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Introduction". Worldwide Governance Indicators. World Bank. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Government Effectiveness" (PDF). Worldwide Governance Indicators. World Bank. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  7. ^ Kaufmann, Daniel; Kraay, Aart; Mastruzzi, Massimo (September 2010). "The Worldwide Governance Indicators: Methodology and Analytical Issues". World Bank Policy Research. SSRN 1682130.