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The colonial origins of comparative development: a skeptical note

Die Kolonialursprünge der vergleichenden Entwicklungsforschung: eine skeptische Anmerkung
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Mazhar, Ummad

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Abstract "This note casts skepticism over various hypothesis formulated by Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2001) in reaching the conclusion that institutions cause economic development. The author has identified four major issues in the study. It lacks adequate econometric specification and relies only on, what the author termed, destiny variables. Secondly, the historical record does not support the author's theory that mortality rate determine Europeans strategy for institutions they intended to develop in the host country; thirdly, given current living standards and disease ridden environment in low and middle income countries, the claim that disease environment of early 19th century was neutral to economic development seems farfetched; finally, assuming that initial institutions caused present institutions put in question the developmental efforts of past half century and thus is more than a sweeping generalization." (author's abstract)
Keywords economic development (on national level); economic history; institutional factors; theory; Europe; standard of living; nineteenth century; econometrics; Great Britain; United States of America; protectionism; democracy; suffrage; illness; determinants; mortality; Africa; Asia; developing country; comparative research; North America
Classification General History; Sociology of Developing Countries, Developmental Sociology; National Economy
Method empirical; quantitative empirical; historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 362-370
Journal Historical Social Research, 37 (2012) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works