This study discusses the measurement and the evolution of formal institutions (political and civil liberties [PCLs], property rights [PRs], and political instability [PI]) in Ghana from the colonial era to the postindependence period. The PCLs and PI are evaluated from 1820 to 2010, while property rights are analyzed for the period 1849–2010. It has been found that, on average, the postindependence democratic regimes guaranteed the best PCLs and PRs. However, the democratic regime recorded the highest documented political instability, which includes number of lives lost, political arrests and assassinations, declarations of state of emergency, and related armed attacks.

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