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The Importance of History for Economic Development

  • Nathan Nunn

This article provides a survey of a growing body of empirical evidence that points towards the important long-term effects that historic events can have on current economic development. The most recent studies, using micro-level data and more sophisticated identification techniques, have moved beyond testing whether history matters, and attempt to identify exactly why history matters. The most commonly examined channels include: institutions, culture, knowledge and technology, and movements between multiple equilibria. The article concludes with a discussion of the questions that remain and the direct of current research in the literature.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14899.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, 05.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14899
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