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Distance to the Technological Frontier and Economic Development

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This research explores the effects of the geographical distance to the pre-industrial technological frontier on economic development. It establishes theoretically and empirically that there exists a persistent non-monotonic effect of distance to the frontier on development. In particular, exploiting a novel measure of the travel time to the technological frontier and variations in its location during the pre-industrial era, it establishes a robust persistent U-shaped relation between the distance to the pre-industrial technological frontier and economic development. Moreover, it demonstrates that isolation from the frontier has had a positive cumulative effect on innovation and entrepreneurial activity levels, suggesting isolation may have fostered the emergence of a culture conducive to innovation, knowledge creation, and entrepreneurship.

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File URL: ftp://ftp1.economics.smu.edu/WorkingPapers/2012/OZAK/OZAK-2012-01.pdf
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Paper provided by Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 1201.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:1201
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, P.O. Box 750496, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0496

Phone: 214-768-2715
Fax: 214-768-1821
Web page: http://www.smu.edu/economics

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  1. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor & Ömer Özak, 2010. "Isolation and Development," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(2-3), pages 401-412, 04-05.
  2. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Preface)," Trinity Economics Papers tep0107, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  3. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2007. "Cultural Assimilation, Cultural Diffusion and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 6444, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
  5. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron & Gancia, Gino & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Competing engines of growth: Innovation and standardization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 570-601.3.
  7. Tann, Jennifer, 1978. "Marketing Methods in the International Steam Engine Market: The Case of Boulton and Watt," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 363-391, June.
  8. Puga, Diego & Trefler, Daniel, 2010. "Wake up and smell the ginseng: International trade and the rise of incremental innovation in low-wage countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 64-76, January.
  9. Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio & Tonon, Giovanni, 2006. "Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances," IZA Discussion Papers 2229, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Robert C. Feenstra & James R. Markusen & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Using the gravity equation to differentiate among alternative theories of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 430-447, May.
  11. Patricia Beeson & Tara Watson & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  12. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 6824, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Smith, Adam, 1776. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1776.
  14. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1143-1179.
  15. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Introduction to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium," Introductory Chapters, in: Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium Princeton University Press.
  16. Jeremy, David J., 1977. "Damming the Flood: British Government Efforts to Check the Outflow of Technicians and Machinery, 1780–1843," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 1-34, March.
  17. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  18. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Preface to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium," Introductory Chapters, in: Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium Princeton University Press.
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