The first essay examined the role of instituions relative to economic policy and geography in explaining the differential level of development. I proposed new measures of Development Quality Index (DQI) and an Institutional Quality Index (IQI). The results indicated that "institutions matter" in the context of specific "economic policy" mixes, and "geography", and their relative influence varies across stages of development. The second essay showed evolution of development quality and found that national development quality grew "three" times faster in China than in India. Conversely, the health quality grew "three" times as fast in Indian than China. The regional development quality improved in both countries, but polarization widened in China. The third essay advanced the WTO as a policy-anchor for improving domestic economic policies and instituion building. I concluded that the WTO membership, under certain circumstances, can lead to a positiv improvement in domestic economic policies and institution building