Deep roots or current policies – what drives sustained prosperity differences across locations?

Mercedes Delgado, Christian Ketels, Michael Porter, Scott Stern 18 September 2014

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What explains the dramatic differences in prosperity levels across locations? A large segment of the research-oriented literature points towards ‘deep roots’, i.e. legacy factors that have been set long ago (Spolaore and Wacziarg 2012). The debate rages on as to whether geographic location and natural endowments (e.g. McCord and Sachs 2013, Sachs et al. 2001) or institutional legacies – themselves influenced by geography and natural conditions (e.g. Acemoglu et al. 2001, Acemoglu and Robinson 2012) – are key.

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Topics:  Development Institutions and economics

Tags:  deep roots, development, Botswana, institutions, geography, colonialism, extractive institutions, natural resources

How history can contribute to better economic education

Coen Teulings 11 July 2014

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Historians tend to stress the particularities in history. Each event is unique, caused by a set of conditions that will never reproduce themselves again. In turn, each event causes new events, which therefore are equally unique and equally irreproducible. Hence, historians conduct painstaking research into the details of these conditions to understand the course of history.

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Topics:  Economic history Education

Tags:  geography, institutions, Agriculture, economic history, Industrial Revolution, urbanisation, agglomeration, history, new economic geography

Long-term barriers to growth

Enrico Spolaore, Romain Wacziarg 03 October 2013

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Students of comparative development have turned their focus to factors rooted deeper and deeper in history.

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Topics:  Development Economic history

Tags:  development, growth, geography, Culture, technology transfer, ancestry

Ethnic inequality

Alberto Alesina, Stelios Michalopoulos, Elias Papaioannou,

Date Published

Sun, 11/18/2012

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Development Poverty and income inequality

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www.cepr.org/pubs/dps/DP9225.asp

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development, diversity, geography, Inequality, ethnicity

The Spatial Diffusion of Technology

Diego Comin, Mikhail Dmitriev, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg ,

Date Published

Sun, 11/11/2012

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Development International trade Macroeconomic policy

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CEPR

URL

www.cepr.org/pubs/dps/DP9208.asp

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geography, technology diffusion, human interactions

Three centuries of climatic variation and the world income distribution

John C Bluedorn, Akos Valentinyi, Michael Vlassopoulos 15 December 2009

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Policymakers around the world are being urged to address the effects of climate change. Formulating a unified policy on climate change is one of the central goals of the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change now underway. A key input into that decision-making process is an accurate appraisal of the possible economic consequences of climate change.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  geography, climate change, history

The blessing of bad geography in Africa

Nathan Nunn, Diego Puga,

Date Published

Wed, 06/06/2007

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to come

Mountainous terrain is tough to farm, costly to traverse, and often inhospitable to live in; yet in Africa, countries with a rugged landscape tend to perform better than their flatter rivals. To explain this paradox, CEPR Research Fellow Diego Puga and his co-author Nathan Nunn reach back more than two centuries – to the slave trade.

Geographical characteristics affect economic outcomes directly – making life harder for landlocked countries, for example – and indirectly, by altering the path of history.

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Africa, slave trade, geography