The Primacy of Institutions Reconsidered: The Effects of Malaria Prevalence in the Empirics of Development

Kiel Working Paper No. 1210

42 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2004  

Erich Gundlach

University of Hamburg

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

I reconsider the primacy of institutions over geography as an explanatory factor of cross-country differences in economic performance, which has recently been postulated by Acemoglu et al. (2001) and others. My estimates show that the reported missing direct performance effects of a measure of geography such as malaria prevalence are not robust to alternative specifications and samples. Unbiased estimates of the relative performance effects of institutions and malaria prevalence are difficult to obtain due to a lack of independent instrumental variables. Conditional on a restricted effect of institutions, my estimates suggest that malaria prevalence exhibits a large negative direct impact on economic performance, as postulated by Sachs (2003) and others.

Keywords: Economic development, institutions, malaria prevalence

JEL Classification: 01, 04

Suggested Citation

Gundlach, Erich, The Primacy of Institutions Reconsidered: The Effects of Malaria Prevalence in the Empirics of Development (May 2004). Kiel Working Paper No. 1210. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=549164 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.549164

Erich Gundlach (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg ( email )

Department of Economics
Von-Melle-Park 5
Hamburg, 20146
Germany
+49 40 428384589 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.erichgundlach.de

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