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Institutions, diseases, and economic progress: a unified framework

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  • BHATTACHARYYA, SAMBIT

Abstract

The sharp division between the 'institutions view' and the 'disease view' has been one of the distinctive features of the 'root causes of economic progress' literature. Based on evidence from cross-national data, the 'institutions school' claims that institutions are the only root cause of development, whereas the 'disease school' claims that diseases are also equally important. In this paper, I contribute to this literature by proposing a unified structure to marry the two conflicting views. I argue that overcoming diseases are of prime importance at an early stage of economic development, whereas institutions are more important at a later stage. I find support for this hypothesis in the development history literature on Africa, India, China and the Americas.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Institutional Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 01 (April)
Pages: 65-87

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:5:y:2009:i:01:p:65-87_00

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2002. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Historical legacies: A model linking Africa's past to its current underdevelopment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 157-175, May.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did The West Extend The Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, And Growth In Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199, November.
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  8. Lorentzen, Peter L. & McMillan, John & Wacziarg, Romain, 2005. "Death and Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
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  12. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Shankha Chakraborty & Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Pérez Sebastián, 2006. "Diseases and Development," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_044, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  20. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
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  22. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  23. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "Geography, Demography, and Economic Growth in Africa," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 207-296.
  24. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2003. "Disease and Development in Historical Perspective," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 397-405, 04/05.
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Cited by:
  1. Tol, Richard S. J., 2011. "Poverty Traps and Climate Change," Papers WP413, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  2. Bhattacharyya, Sambit, 2012. "Trade liberalization and institutional development," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 253-269.

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