Tropics, germs, and crops: How endowments influence economic development

William Easterly, Ross Levine

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Does economic development depend on geographic endowments like temperate instead of tropical location, the ecological conditions shaping diseases, or an environment good for grains or certain cash crops? Or do these endowments of tropics, germs, and crops affect economic development only through institutions or policies? We test the endowment, institution, and policy views against each other using cross country evidence. We find evidence that tropics, germs, and crops affect development through institutions. We find no evidence that tropics, germs, and crops affect country incomes directly other than through institutions, nor do we find any effect of policies on development once we control for institutions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)3-39
    Number of pages37
    JournalJournal of Monetary Economics
    Volume50
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2003

    Keywords

    • Economic development
    • Georgaphy
    • Institutions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Finance
    • Economics and Econometrics

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