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Institutions, Diseases and Economic Progress: A Unified Framework

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  • Sambit Bhattacharyya

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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File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/publications/publish/papers/wp2008/wp_econ_2008_15.pdf
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Paper provided by The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2008-15.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2008-15

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Keywords: Root Causes; Institutions; Diseases; Economic Development;

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A, 2003. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3712, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. 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.
  8. Peter Lorentzen & John McMillan & Romain Wacziarg, 2008. "Death and development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 81-124, June.
  9. Chris Papageorgiou & Shankha Chakraborty & Fidel Perez-Sebastian, . "Diseases and Development," Departmental Working Papers 2005-12, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
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  11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2006. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 12269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," Working Papers id:2811, eSocialSciences.
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  15. 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.
  16. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
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  18. 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.
  19. James A. Robinson, 2006. "Equity, Institutions and the Development Process," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 32, pages 17-50.
  20. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2003. "Institutional causes, macroeconomic symptoms: volatility, crises and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 49-123, January.
  21. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  24. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Bhattacharyya, Sambit, 2012. "Trade liberalization and institutional development," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 253-269.
  2. Tol, Richard S. J., 2011. "Poverty Traps and Climate Change," Papers WP413, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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