Geography and Institutions: A Review of Plausible and Implausible Linkages
Ola Olsson ()
No 106, Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics
In recent years, empirical investigations have shown that various aspects of physical geography are closely related to the quality of a country’s economic institutions. For instance, distance from the equator in latitude degrees is positively correlated to both institutional quality and to levels of economic development. In order to reach a better understanding for this type of regularities, this article reviews the growing empirical literature on geography and institutions, as well as a large body of older and newer theoretical works on the social impacts of geography. It is argued that the most plausible candidates for explaining the broadest cross-continental variance in institutional quality are those focusing on historical differences in biogeographical potential for early agriculture and on the importance of disease geography for European colonization strategy.
Keywords: geography; institutions; topography; geology; biogeography; climate; development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N40 N50 P33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo and nep-hpe
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Forthcoming in Journal of Economics.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0106
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