Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Geography, European settlements and compared development in the Americas
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2005-11)
    The interplay between factor endowments,institutionl development and economic performance has received considerable attention in recent years. This paper exploits the importance of geographic factors and institutional structures for explaining patterns of settlement and examines how these influenced growth outcomes. I find evidence that prospective European migrants preferred to settle in regions with favourable natural endowments and institutional packages designed to attract them. These settlers not only benefited from a growth-inducing institutional framework but also contributed actively to its quality in a mutually reinforcing relationship. Countries that competed for migrants achieved higher income levels through institutional development and better provision of public goods. Finally, my findings show that the link between European migrants and economic development is not linear, as the positive effects of attracting European settlers on institutions and public goods are set off only when European populations grow to outnumber other ethnic groups. Countries where European migrants remained a minority were more likely to develop institutions that advantaged a small elite and eliminated opportunities for the bulk of the population.
  • Publication
    Alternative instruments for institutional quality and the effect of european settlements on economic development
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2004-06)
    The study of the effect of institutional quality on economic performance has a long tradition in economic development. Considering the problems of reverse causality in the link between economic development and institutions, most recent research employs instrumental variables for the measurement of this effect. The present paper explores the impact of European settlements on economic development. These settlements are explained as a function of climate, disease environment, and availability of land. Here these variables are found to determine to a great extent European settlements in Africa and the Americas. Consequently, these variables are used as instruments for institutional quality and the large effect of institutions on income per capita documented by previous studies is through them confirmed. This study finds evidence that limitations of other instruments are overcome using these variables as instruments.
  • Publication
    Geography, institutions, and compared development in Africa
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2007-05)
    Recent years have seen a significant improvement in the economic performance of some African countries. The resulting increased dispersion in income levels across Africa, combined with the pertinence of detecting regional role models renders an intra-African analysis more attractive. In this paper I estimate the respective contribution of institutions, geography, and policies in determining income levels in sub-Saharan Africa. I find that income per capita in this region can be explained to a large extent with a few variables: quality of economic institutions, trade, population density in the 19th century, investment, mineral resources, and a dummy variable for small island nations. Contrary to other regions in the world, some policy variables remain significant after controlling for institutions in Africa. Measures of geography (climate, disease ecology, rainfall) have no direct effect on income levels once institutional quality is controlled for.