The Expansive Corridor: Testing Acemoglu and Robinson (2019)

38 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2022

See all articles by Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy

Southern Methodist University (SMU)

Colin O'Reilly

Creighton University

Date Written: February 9, 2022

Abstract

Acemoglu and Robinson (2019) create a compelling narrative concerning the relationship between the power of states, the power of societies, and economic development, illustrated with a series of historical vignettes. Using a recently constructed historical dataset of state capacity, we provide a series of formal and informal tests of their hypothesis. We first visualize the historical paths of the strength of society and the strength of the state for each country so as to operationalize the claims of Acemoglu and Robinson. We then measure whether the balance of the strength of society and the strength of the state is predictive of improvements in both. We find very little evidence in favor of Acemoglu and Robinson (2019).

Keywords: The Narrow Corridor; Civil Society; State Capacity; Social Capital; Institutional Development

JEL Classification: O43, H10, N40

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Ryan and O'Reilly, Colin, The Expansive Corridor: Testing Acemoglu and Robinson (2019) (February 9, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4031002 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4031002

Ryan Murphy (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University (SMU) ( email )

6212 Bishop Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

Colin O'Reilly

Creighton University ( email )

2500 California St.
Omaha, NE 68178
United States

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