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Institutions and U.S. Regional Development: A Study of Massachusetts and Virginia

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  • Sukkoo Kim

Abstract

The development of the American economy was accompanied by significant spatial income inequalities between the northern and southern regions. While many factors contributed to northern industrialization and southern stagnation, an important factor was differences in their institutions. In the North, a democratic institution fostered growth whereas in the South, an oligarchic institution favored status quo. To gain some insights on the nature and causes of the divergence of these institutions, this paper examines the development of political and legal institutions in Massachusetts and Virginia, the two leading states in the North and the South.

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  • Sukkoo Kim, 2007. "Institutions and U.S. Regional Development: A Study of Massachusetts and Virginia," NBER Working Papers 13431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13431
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    1. Egnal, Marc, 1996. "Divergent Paths: How Culture and Institutions Have Shaped North American Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195098662.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Legal Origins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1193-1229.
    3. Kim, Sukkoo & Margo, Robert A., 2004. "Historical perspectives on U.S. economic geography," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 66, pages 2981-3019 Elsevier.
    4. Alston, Lee J. & Schapiro, Morton Owen, 1984. "Inheritance Laws Across Colonies: Causes and Consequences," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(02), pages 277-287, June.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 10481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
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    12. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
    13. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
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    15. Richard H. Steckel, 1982. "The Economic Foundations of East-West Migration During the Nineteenth Century," NBER Working Papers 0881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    17. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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