Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development

53 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2002 Last revised: 12 Oct 2002

See all articles by William Easterly

William Easterly

New York University - Department of Economics

Ross Levine

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2002

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.

Suggested Citation

Easterly, William and Levine, Ross Eric, Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development (August 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w9106. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=324048

William Easterly

New York University - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

Ross Eric Levine (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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