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Switzerland's Rise to a Wealthy Nation: Competition and Contestability as Key Success Factors

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  • Beatrice Weder
  • Rolf Weder

Abstract

This paper argues that economic competition and political contestability are two key determinants of the successful development of the Swiss economy in the nineteenth and twentieth century. We describe how Switzerland evolved from a relatively poor country with no natural resources and net emigration in 1800 to one of the richest countries of the world two hundred years later. Based on quantitative and qualitative evidence, we argue that early internationalization, open and flexible markets as well as a high degree of competition were crucial for the development of the Swiss economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Beatrice Weder & Rolf Weder, 2009. "Switzerland's Rise to a Wealthy Nation: Competition and Contestability as Key Success Factors," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2009-25, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2009-25
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    File URL: https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/RP2009-25.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472, Elsevier.
    5. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nirvikar Singh, 2016. "Breaking the Mould: Thoughts on Punjab’s Future Economic Development," India Studies in Business and Economics, in: Lakhwinder Singh & Nirvikar Singh (ed.), Economic Transformation of a Developing Economy, edition 1, chapter 0, pages 451-466, Springer.
    2. Singh, Nirvikar, 2008. "India’s Development Strategy: Accidents, Design and Replicability," MPRA Paper 12453, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition; Democracy; Economic development; History (Economics); Institutional economics; International trade;
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