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Reconciling Acemoglu and Sachs: geography, institutions and technology

  • Veiseh, Nima

This paper attempts to reconcile two models for sustainable economic growth in developing countries. I develop an empirical and theoretical case for how the geographic landscape of a country determines the ease with which it can assimilate foreign technologies and establish institutions favorable to economic growth. I explore the threshold between the seemingly conflicting geographic (Sachs et al.) and institutional (Acemoglu et al.) theories, and economic growth. I do this by developing a technologically determinant, intermediate bifurcation where growth shifts from being geographically to institutionally driven after enough technology has been assimilated. My analysis finds that the rate of technological assimilation is determined by the landscape of a country. As the technology level increases, income level converges toward the level of developed countries. After reaching a certain threshold, however, the primary driver of economic growth appears to shift from geography to institutions.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33574.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2010
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Publication status: Published in Journal of International Affairs 2010, Fall/Winter.64(2010): pp. 205-220
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33574
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  1. 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.
  2. Esther Duflo & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, 2004. "Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india," Framed Field Experiments 00224, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. 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.
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