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The Primacy of Institutions Reconsidered: The Effects of Malaria Prevalence in the Empirics of Development

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  • Erich Gundlach

Abstract

I reconsider the primacy of institutions over geography as an explanatory factor of cross-country differences in economic performance, which has recently been postulated by Acemoglu et al. (2001) and others. My estimates show that the reported missing direct performance effects of a measure of geography such as malaria prevalence are not robust to alternative specifications and samples. Unbiased estimates of the relative performance effects of institutions and malaria prevalence are difficult to obtain due to a lack of independent instrumental variables. Conditional on a restricted effect of institutions, my estimates suggest that malaria prevalence exhibits a large negative direct impact on economic performance, as postulated by Sachs (2003) and others.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1210.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1210

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Keywords: Economic development; institutions; malaria prevalence;

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  1. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Author-Name: Jeffrey D. Sachs & John W. McArthur & Guido Schmidt-Traub & Margaret Kruk & Chandrika Bahadur & Michael Faye & Gordon McCord, 2004. "Ending Africa's Poverty Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 117-240.
  5. William A. Masters & Margaret S. McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale In Economic Growth," CID Working Papers 48, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  6. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Guyslain K. Ngeleza & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & William A. Masters, 2006. "Geographic And Institutional Determinants Of Real Income:A Spatio-Temporal Simultaneous Equation Approach," Working Papers 06-15, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.

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