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Reconciling conflicting evidence on the origins of comparative development: A finite mixture model approach

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  • Thomas K.J. McDermott
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    Abstract

    In this paper, I revisit the controversy over the fundamental sources of comparative development. In contrast to much of the previous literature, my focus is on the appropriate specification of the empirical strategy. Using a finite mixture model approach and Monte Carlo simulations, I demonstrate that the standard linear estimation strategy may be mis-specified and as a result is likely to obscure the true effects of the variables used to explain cross-country income differences. My findings could potentially reconcile apparently conflicting results from the existing literature on the role of geography and institutions in comparative development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in its series Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers with number 130.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp130

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    1. Bloom, David E & Canning, David & Sevilla, Jaypee, 2003. " Geography and Poverty Traps," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 355-78, December.
    2. Kai Carstensen & Erich Gundlach, 2006. "The Primacy of Institutions Reconsidered: Direct Income Effects of Malaria Prevalence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(3), pages 309-339.
    3. Strulik, Holger, 2008. "Geography, health, and the pace of demo-economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 61-75, April.
    4. Margaret S. McMillan & William A. Masters, 2000. "Climate and scale in economic growth," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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    6. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," Working Papers 15, Center for Global Development.
    7. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Life expectancy and economic growth: The role of the demographic transition," Munich Reprints in Economics 20078, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    8. Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2007. "Root Causes of African Underdevelopment," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 200704, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Apr 2007.
    9. Rodrik, Dani, 1998. "Where Did all the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict and Growth Collapses," CEPR Discussion Papers 1789, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. 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.
    12. Raphael A. Auer, 2013. "Geography, institutions, and the making of comparative development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 179-215, June.
    13. Partha Deb & Karen Smith Conway, 2002. "Is Prenatal Care Really Ineffective? Or, is the 'Devil' in the Distribution?," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 02/2, Hunter College Department of Economics.
    14. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin peaks : growth and convergence in models of distribution dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2278, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Disease and development: The role of life expectancy reconsidered," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 269-272.
    16. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. David Y. Albouy, 2012. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 3059-76, October.
    18. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Disease and development: The role of life expectancy reconsidered," Munich Reprints in Economics 20079, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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