• Publications
  • Influence
The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation
We exploit differences in the mortality rates faced by European colonialists to estimate the effect of institutions on economic performance. Our argument is that Europeans adopted very different
Unbundling Institutions
This paper evaluates the importance of “property rights institutions,” which protect citizens against expropriation by the government and powerful elites, and “contracting institutions,” which enable
Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth
This paper develops the empirical and theoretical case that differences in economic institutions are the fundamental cause of differences in economic development. We first document the empirical
Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution
A method and apparatus for the removal of cakes from an open filter press is proposed which involves directing one or more jets of a pressure fluid towards the chamber to impinge on an edge of the
Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth
We exploit the major international health improvements from the 1940s to estimate the effect of life expectancy on economic performance. We construct predicted mortality using preintervention
Cronyism and Capital Controls: Evidence from Malaysia
The initial impact of the Asian financial crisis in Malaysia reduced the expected value of government subsidies to politically favored firms. Of the estimated $60 billion loss in market value for
Income and Democracy?
Existing studies establish a strong cross-country correlation between income and democracy but do not control for factors that simultaneously affect both variables. We show that controlling for such
Dodging the Grabbing Hand: The Determinants of Unofficial Activity in 69 Countries
Across 69 countries, higher tax rates are associated with less unofficial activity as a percent of GDP but corruption is associated with more unofficial activity. Entrepreneurs go underground not to
Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle
I present a model in which the incomplete nature of contracts governing international transactions limits the extent to which the production process can be fragmented across borders. Because of
...
...