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

How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?

  • Enrico Spolaore
  • Romain Wacziarg

The empirical literature on economic growth and development has moved from the study of proximate determinants to the analysis of ever deeper, more fundamental factors, rooted in long-term history. A growing body of new empirical work focuses on the measurement and estimation of the effects of historical variables on contemporary income by explicitly taking into account the ancestral composition of current populations. The evidence suggests that economic development is affected by traits that have been transmitted across generations over the very long run. This article surveys this new literature and provides a framework to discuss different channels through which intergenerationally transmitted characteristics may impact economic development, biologically (via genetic or epigenetic transmission) and culturally (via behavioral or symbolic transmission). An important issue is whether historically transmitted traits have affected development through their direct impact on productivity, or have operated indirectly as barriers to the diffusion of productivity-enhancing innovations across populations.

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.nber.org/papers/w18130.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18130.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2013. "How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 325-69, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18130
Note: DAE EFG POL
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

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. 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.
  2. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Cultural Diversity, Geographical Isolation, and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," NBER Working Papers 17640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
  4. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," NBER Working Papers 14278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Malthusian Population Dynamics: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2008-6, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "War and Relatedness," NBER Working Papers 15095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. "States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-69, December.
  12. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2010. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Voigtländer, Nico & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2011. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 8365, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Wacziarg, Romain & Spolaore, Enrico, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," Research Papers 1898r1, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  15. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," Introductory Chapters, in: A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World Princeton University Press.
  16. Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, 05.
  17. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
  18. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, 06.
  19. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2011. "Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations," CEPR Discussion Papers 8541, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2007. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-049, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  21. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," Working Papers 05-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  22. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/42, European University Institute.
  23. Alesina, Alberto F & Giuliano, Paola & Nunn, Nathan, 2011. "On the origins of gender roles: women and the plough," CEPR Discussion Papers 8418, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. David Y. Albouy, 2012. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 3059-76, October.
  25. Becker, Sascha O. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2007. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," IZA Discussion Papers 2886, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00641280 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Oded_Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth:Unified Growth Theory," Working Papers 2004-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  28. Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Religious Intermarriage and Socialization in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 615-664, June.
  29. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  30. 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.
  31. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
  32. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (II): Distribution," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number mill1848-2.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Diego A. Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2009. "The CHAT Dataset," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-035, Harvard Business School.
  36. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Stanley L Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economics," NBER Working Papers 9259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," Working Papers 2010-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  39. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2012. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 3077-3110, October.
  40. 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.
  41. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," Post-Print halshs-00754788, HAL.
  42. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2007. "The Power of the Family," IZA Discussion Papers 2750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  43. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Roland, Gérard, 2010. "Culture, Institutions and the Wealth of nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 8013, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  44. Michael Kremer, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716.
  45. Patrick Francois & Jan Zabojnik, 2005. "Trust, Social Capital, and Economic Development," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 51-94, 03.
  46. Diego Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2006. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?," NBER Working Papers 12657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. Rappaport, Jordan & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 2003. "The United States as a Coastal Nation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 5-46, March.
  48. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2008. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions and the Great Divergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6751, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  49. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  50. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Toubal, Farid, 2006. "Cultural proximity and trade," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 305, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
  51. Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, . "Early Starts, Reversals and Catchup in the Process of Economic Development," Departmental Working Papers 2005-06, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  52. Avner Greif & Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Cultural and Institutional Bifurcation: China and Europe Compared," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 135-40, May.
  53. 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.
  54. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  55. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Presidential Address Institutions and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 255-294, 04-05.
  56. 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.
  57. Marianna Belloc & Samuel Bowles, 2009. "International Trade, Factor Mobility and the Persistence of Cultural-Institutional Diversity," Working Papers 126, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  58. David Y. Albouy, 2008. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Investigation of the Settler Mortality Data," NBER Working Papers 14130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  59. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  60. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  61. Klaus Desmet & Michel Breton & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2011. "The stability and breakup of nations: a quantitative analysis," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 183-213, September.
  62. Hibbs Jr., Douglas A. & Olsson, Ola, 2003. "Geography, Biogeography and Why Some Countries are Rich and Others Poor," Working Papers in Economics 105, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 15 Jan 2004.
  63. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
  64. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/432sbils8u9, Sciences Po.
  65. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  66. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2012. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 20-36, February.
  67. Yannis M. Ioannides, 2012. "From Neighborhoods to Nations: The Economics of Social Interactions," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9892.
  68. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
  69. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
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:nbr:nberwo:18130. 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.