What explains variations in investment climate at local levels? We presumed either subnational competition, interest group pressure, or leadership -- or combination of the two or three. As for leadership, we thought of three natures: rent-seeking (as opposed to developmental), inclusive (vs. exclusive), or planned (vs. unplanned). We are yet to get confirmation to all this -- but we're getting there.
But I'm wary. Evidence so far is skewed toward ... leadership. If it is finally proven so, that is discouraging. Even though Ari Perdana rightly said that such "non-standard" variable might explain regional performance, I am afraid we can't go very far as to offer any policy recommendation: because that means it's the person, after all, not the system that matters.
Here, too. Everywhere we go, we can hear praises for the mayor. But when asked if this situation can be sustainable, people don't seem to expect so. On the contrary, they are worried that once the great leader leaves, things can go back into the lousy system. As a matter of fact, one of us, von Luebke confirmed similar negative conclusion in his previous work.