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Alternative Instruments for Institutional Quality and the Effect of European Settlements on Economic Development

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  • Luis Vaz Silva

    (University College Dublin)

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    Abstract

    The study of the effect of institutional quality on economic performance has a long tradition in economic development. Considering the problems of reverse causality in the link between economic development and institutions, most recent research employs instrumental variables for the measurement of this effect. The present paper explores the impact of European settlements on economic development. These settlements are explained as a function of climate, disease environment, and availability of land. Here these variables are found to determine to a great extent European settlements in Africa and the Americas. Consequently, these variables are used as instruments for institutional quality and the large effect of institutions on income per capita documented by previous studies is through them confirmed. This study finds evidence that limitations of other instruments are overcome using these variables as instruments.

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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2004/WP04.19.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2004
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200419.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: 06 Jun 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200419

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    1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, January.
    2. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," Working Papers 15, Center for Global Development.
    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. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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