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Geography and institutions: Plausible and implausible linkages

  • Ola Olsson

    ()

In recent years, empirical investigations have shown that various aspects of physical geography are closely related to the quality of a country’s economic institutions. For instance, distance from the equator in latitude degrees is positively correlated to both institutional quality and to levels of economic development. In order to reach a better understanding for this type of regularities, this article reviews the growing empirical literature on geography and institutions, as well as a large body of older and newer theoretical works on the social impacts of geography. It is argued that the most plausible candidates for explaining the broadest cross-continental variance in institutional quality are those focusing on historical differences in biogeographical potential for early agriculture and on the importance of disease geography for European colonization strategy. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF03051804
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 167-194

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jeczfn:v:10:y:2005:i:1:p:167-194
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=108909

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