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Institutions and geography as sources of economic development

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  • Andrea F. Presbitero

    (Department of Economics, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy)

Abstract

This work investigates the roots of economic development. The debate about the predominance of institutions over geography is far from reaching a firm conclusion, and this analysis highlights the main difficulties that should be addressed in order to find out the real determinants of long-run economic growth. I argue that the institutional view is not as strong as it may appear: different specifications and different institutional indicators undermine the exclusive importance of institutions. Geographical factors, related to the health and sanitary conditions and to the accessibility to the sea of a country, play a role in economic development, that goes beyond the way in which they shape institutions. The empirical evidence implies that the development policies should be directed to improving not only the quality of governance, but also the sanitary conditions in the least developed countries. However, since there is a lack of accurate indicators and difficult problems of endogeneity, more reliable instruments and indicators of geography and institutions are needed in order to achieve a firm conclusion. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea F. Presbitero, 2006. "Institutions and geography as sources of economic development," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 351-378.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:18:y:2006:i:3:p:351-378
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1225
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    2. Givens, David, 2013. "Defining governance matters: A factor analytic assessment of governance institutions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1026-1053.
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    4. Alan Martina, 2007. "A Class of Poverty Traps: A Theory and Empirical Tests," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2007-482, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.

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