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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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File URL: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/the-primacy-of-institutions-reconsidered-the-effects-of-malaria-prevalence-in-the-empirics-of-development/kap1210.pdf
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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
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  1. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
  3. William A. Masters & Margaret S. McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale In Economic Growth," CID Working Papers 48, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  4. 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.
  5. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
  7. World Bank, 2002. "World Development Indicators 2002," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13921, February.
  8. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1997. "Consistent Moment Selection Procedures for Generalized Method of Moments Estimation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1146R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2000. "Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development," Working Papers in Economics 26, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 11 Aug 2000.
  10. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  11. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman, 1999. "A New Specification Test for the Validity of Instrumental Variables," Working papers 99-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. John Shea, 1996. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," NBER Technical Working Papers 0193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Andrews, Donald W K, 1989. "Power in Econometric Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1059-90, September.
  15. Jean-Marie Dufour, 1997. "Some Impossibility Theorems in Econometrics with Applications to Structural and Dynamic Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1365-1388, November.
  16. 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.
  17. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2003. "Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996-2002," Development and Comp Systems 0308001, EconWPA.
  18. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Cragg, John G. & Donald, Stephen G., 1993. "Testing Identifiability and Specification in Instrumental Variable Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 222-240, April.
  22. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, 07.
  24. John W. McArthur & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Institutions and Geography: Comment on Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2000)," NBER Working Papers 8114, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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