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Institutions and Geography: Comment on Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2000)

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  • John W. McArthur
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs
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    Abstract

    This paper responds to findings by Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2000) that suggest weak institutions, but not physical geography and correlates like disease burden, explain current variation in levels of economic development across former colonies. Using similar data and expanding the sample of countries analyzed, our regression analysis shows that both institutions and geographically-related variables such as malaria incidence or life expectancy at birth are strongly linked to gross national product per capita. We argue that the evidence presented in Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson is likely limited by the inherently small sample of ex-colonies and the limited geographic dispersion of those countries.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8114.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8114

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    1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    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. Masters, William A. & McMillan, Margaret S., 2001. "Climate And Scale In Economic Growth," Miscellaneous Papers 11845, Agecon Search.
    4. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2000. "Tropical Underdevelopment," CID Working Papers 57, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    5. 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.
    6. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    7. Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
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