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Alternative instruments for institutional quality and the effect of european settlements on economic development

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  • Luis Vaz Silva

Abstract

The study of the effect of institutional quality on economic performance has a long tradition in economic development. Considering the problems of reverse causality in the link between economic development and institutions, most recent research employs instrumental variables for the measurement of this effect. The present paper explores the impact of European settlements on economic development. These settlements are explained as a function of climate, disease environment, and availability of land. Here these variables are found to determine to a great extent European settlements in Africa and the Americas. Consequently, these variables are used as instruments for institutional quality and the large effect of institutions on income per capita documented by previous studies is through them confirmed. This study finds evidence that limitations of other instruments are overcome using these variables as instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Vaz Silva, 2004. "Alternative instruments for institutional quality and the effect of european settlements on economic development," Working Papers 200419, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200419
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/1297
    File Function: First version, 2004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    5. 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.
    6. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, January.
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