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The Colonial and Geographic Origins of Comparative Development

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  • Raphael Anton Auer

Abstract

While the direct impact of geographic endowments on prosperity is present in all countries, in former colonies, geography has also affected colonization policies and institutional outcomes. Thus, one can disentangle the partial effects of endowments and institutions on income by utilizing the interaction of geography and colonial experience. I first document that climate and disease did affect institutional development in the group of former colonies while this is not the case in the rest of the world. Second, I develop an empirical strategy that identifies the relation between institutions and income but that also accounts for the direct effect of endowments. I find that institutions are the main determinant of development and that endowments also have a sizeable direct impact on development. Third, I highlight the importance of disease environment for both colonization policies and income directly.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Anton Auer, 2008. "The Colonial and Geographic Origins of Comparative Development," Working Papers 2008-08, Swiss National Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2008-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Raphael A. Auer, 2013. "Geography, institutions, and the making of comparative development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 179-215, June.
    2. Elisabeth Benecke, 2011. "Networking for climate change: agency in the context of renewable energy governance in India," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 23-42, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth; Institutions; Geography; Comparative Development; Colonialism;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • F54 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Colonialism; Imperialism; Postcolonialism

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