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Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development

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  • Dani Rodrik
  • Arvind Subramanian
  • Francesco Trebbi

Abstract

We estimate the respective contributions of institutions, geography, and trade in determining income levels around the world, using recently developed instrumental variables for institutions and trade. Our results indicate that the quality of institutions "trumps" everything else. Once institutions are controlled for, conventional measures of geography have at best weak direct effects on incomes, although they have a strong indirect effect by influencing the quality of institutions. Similarly, once institutions are controlled for, trade is almost always insignificant, and often enters the income equation with the "wrong" (i.e., negative) sign. We relate our results to recent literature, and where differences exist, trace their origins to choices on samples, specification, and instrumentation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economic Growth.

Volume (Year): 9 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 131-165

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:9:y:2004:i:2:p:131-165

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102931

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  1. Mukand, Sharun W. & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "In Search of the Holy Grail: Policy Convergence, Experimentation and Economic Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3525, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, January.
  3. Masters, William A & McMillan, Margaret S, 2001. " Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 167-86, September.
  4. Francisco Alcalá & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Trade and Productivity," Working Papers 12, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  7. Irwin, Douglas A. & Tervio, Marko, 2002. "Does trade raise income?: Evidence from the twentieth century," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-18, October.
  8. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 6849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," Working Papers 15, Center for Global Development.
  11. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  12. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-68, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  18. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 1994. "Factor Endowments: Institutions, and Differential Paths of Growth Among New World Economies: A View from Economic Historians of the United States," NBER Historical Working Papers 0066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Blog mentions

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  1. Did AGOA work? Identification and export incentives
    by jdingel in Trade diversion on 2010-08-15 14:55:38

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  1. > Schools of Economic Thought, Epistemology of Economics > Heterodox Approaches > Institutional Economics
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