chapter  5
The Effects of Country Wealth
Pages 12

When they deliver benefits to citizens, governments spend money. Governments’ capacity to spend is linked with country wealth. Wealthy countries, therefore, have more governing capacity than poor countries and should rate higher in all six measures of governance.1 In cross-national studies, total country wealth is typically measured by estimates of gross domestic product (GDP), the total value of the goods and services produced in a country in a given year. Because countries with large populations generate more GDP than smaller countries, GDP is typically divided by population, yielding GDP per capita, a measure of country wealth standardized by population.