Economic development and the geography of institutions

Bosker, E. M. & Garretsen, J. H., May-2009, In : Journal of Economic Geography. 9, 3, p. 295-328 34 p.

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To explain cross-country income differences, research has recently focused on the so-called deep determinants of economic development, notably institutions and geography. This article shows that it is not only absolute geography, in terms of for instance climate or being landlocked, but also relative geography, the spatial linkages between countries, that matters for a country's GDP per capita. More specifically, we analyze the importance of the geography of institutions. We show that apart from its own institutions, the institutional quality in neighboring countries is also important for a country's economic development. This finding is robust to various alternative specifications of relative geography, sample size and the inclusion of additional controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-328
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May-2009


  • relative geography, economic development, institutions, O1, F5, O57, CAUSE GROWTH, CIVIL-WAR, NEIGHBORS, REFUGEES, PRIMACY, MALARIA, TRADE

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