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The Primacy of Institutions Reconsidered: The Effects of Malaria Prevalence in the Empirics of Development

  • Erich Gundlach

I reconsider the primacy of institutions over geography as an explanatory factor of cross-country differences in economic performance, which has recently been postulated by Acemoglu et al. (2001) and others. My estimates show that the reported missing direct performance effects of a measure of geography such as malaria prevalence are not robust to alternative specifications and samples. Unbiased estimates of the relative performance effects of institutions and malaria prevalence are difficult to obtain due to a lack of independent instrumental variables. Conditional on a restricted effect of institutions, my estimates suggest that malaria prevalence exhibits a large negative direct impact on economic performance, as postulated by Sachs (2003) and others.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1210.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1210
Contact details of provider: Postal: Kiellinie 66, D-24105 Kiel
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  1. 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.
  2. Margaret S. McMillan & William A. Masters, 2000. "Climate and scale in economic growth," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Author-Name: Jeffrey D. Sachs & John W. McArthur & Guido Schmidt-Traub & Margaret Kruk & Chandrika Bahadur & Michael Faye & Gordon McCord, 2004. "Ending Africa's Poverty Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 117-240.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:83-116 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:83-116 is not listed on IDEAS
  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.
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