Failed States and Failed Economies: Nationalism and Economic Behavior, 1955-1995
Using data from the Failed State Task Force data set, this paper argues entering onto positive growth paths for income and infrastructure per capita depend upon a nation’s political stability and its geography. A nation’s achieving sustained long-run growth in both variables is essential to its capacity to converge towards countries with high levels of income per capita because high levels of per capita infrastructure are strongly correlated with high levels of income per capita. New nation states seem to face heavy burdens to avoiding negative feedback traps, partly because their youthfulness is associated with political stability; partly because their propinquity to other politically unstable neighbors hampers their capacity to grow through trade and their ability to avert domestic conflict; partly because they tend to be located in the tropics where the incidence of malaria is high.
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