IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development

  • Spolaore, Enrico
  • Wacziarg, Romain

What obstacles prevent the most productive technologies from spreading to less developed economies from the world’'s technological frontier? In this paper, we seek to shed light on this question by quantifying the geographic and human barriers to the transmission of technologies. We argue that the intergenerational transmission of human traits, particularly culturally transmitted traits, has led to divergence between populations over the course of history. In turn, this divergence has introduced barriers to the diffusion of technologies across societies. We provide measures of historical and genealogical distances between populations, and document how such distances, relative to the world'’s technological frontier, act as barriers to the diffusion of development and of specific innovations. We provide an interpretation of these results in the context of an emerging literature seeking to understand variation in economic development as the result of factors rooted deep in history.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9638
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9638.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9638
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.

Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "Technological diffusion, convergence and growth," Economics Working Papers 116, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Diego A. Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2009. "The CHAT Dataset," NBER Working Papers 15319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2012. "How Deep are the Roots of Economic Development?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3837, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," CESifo Working Paper Series 1987, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 2236, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
  8. 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.
  9. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2013. "Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation," CEPR Discussion Papers 9306, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
  11. Areendam Chanda & C. Justin Cook & Louis Putterman, 2014. "Persistence of Fortune: Accounting for Population Movements, There Was No Post-Columbian Reversal," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 1-28, July.
  12. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2008. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Diego A. Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2008. "An Exploration of Technology Diffusion," Harvard Business School Working Papers 08-093, Harvard Business School.
  14. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2012. "Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 11 - 46.
  15. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2010. "Development Accounting," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 207-23, January.
  16. Klaus Desmet & Michel Le Breton & Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Shlomo Weber, 2009. "The Stability and Breakup of Nations: A Quantitative Analysis," Working Papers VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics 10, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics.
  17. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Toubal, Farid, 2006. "Cultural proximity and trade," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 305, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
  18. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/42, European University Institute.
  19. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 17216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2006. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," NBER Technical Working Papers 0327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Louis Putterman & David N. Weil, 2008. "Post-1500 Population Flows and the Long Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 14448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
  23. Walter Bossert & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Eliana La Ferrara, 2011. "A Generalized Index of Fractionalization," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(312), pages 723-750, October.
  24. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
  25. William A. Masters & Margaret S. McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale In Economic Growth," CID Working Papers 48, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  26. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," NBER Working Papers 9237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  28. 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.
  29. Diego A. Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2008. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-052, Harvard Business School.
  30. Patricia Beeson & Tara Watson & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  31. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  32. Diego A. Comin & Martí Mestieri, 2010. "An Intensive Exploration of Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 16379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Charles J. Cook, . "The Role of Lactose Tolerance in Pre-Colonial Development," Departmental Working Papers 2011-12, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  34. Francesco Caselli, 2004. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Working Papers 10828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, December.
  36. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2013. "War and Relatedness," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 140, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  37. S. Blankenburg, 2014. "Introduction," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(6), pages 1295-1305.
  38. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00641280 is not listed on IDEAS
  39. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, December.
  40. Gabriel Felbermayr & Farid Toubal, 2010. "Cultural Proximity and Trade," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00641280, HAL.
  41. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  42. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/432sbils8u9, Sciences Po.
  43. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
  44. Glaeser, Edward L. & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Scholarly Articles 27867242, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  45. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. E. Ray Canterbery, 2014. "Introduction," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of A Populist President, chapter 1, pages 1-11 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  47. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2003-41, August.
  48. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  49. 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.
  50. Francesco Caselli, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3567, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  51. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  52. Jan Fagerberg, 2003. "Innovation: A Guide to the Literature," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20031012, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  53. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  54. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9638. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.