This working paper is the sole responsibility of the author. It is circulated in order to stimulate debate and to encourage comments and criticism.

This document presents the Institutional Profiles Database (IPD) 2012. The IPD provides an original measure of countries’ institutional characteristics through composite indicators built from perception data. It was designed in order to facilitate and stimulate research on the relationship between institutions, long-term economic growth and development.

The IPD 2012 follows on from the 2001, 2006 and 2009 versions. It covers 143 countries and contains 130 indicators derived from 330 variables describing a broad range of institutional characteristics structured in nine functions: 1) political institutions; 2) security, law and order, control of violence; 3) functioning of public administrations; 4) free operation of markets; 5) coordination of stakeholders, strategic vision and innovation; 6) security of transactions and contracts; 7) market regulations, social dialogue; 8) openness and 9) social cohesion and social mobility.

This document updates the presentation documents that accompanied previous editions of the database. More specifically, it provides an explanation of the analytical framework underpinning the database, it discusses the issues involved in measuring institutions and describes the methodology used in constructing the IPD 2012 database and calculating the indicators it contains.