This paper summarizes the methodology of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project, and related analytical issues. The WGI has covered over two hundred countries and territories, measuring six dimensions of governance starting in 1996: Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Control of Corruption. The aggregate indicators are based on several hundred individual underlying variables, taken from a wide variety of existing data sources. The data reflect the views on governance of survey respondents and public, private, and NGO sector experts worldwide. We also explicitly report margins of error accompanying each country estimate. These reflect the inherent difficulties in measuring governance using any kind of data. We find that even after taking margins of error into account, the WGI permit meaningful cross-country and over-time comparisons. The aggregate indicators, together with the disaggregated underlying source data, are available at <www.govindicators.org>.
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