Essays On The New Economic History Of The Middle East

First posted 6 March 2017; last revised 10 April 2017

This is a companion to my Economic History Books page. This reference page collects surveys, articles, and blogs — basically, linkable things — which give a good overview of academic research on general-interest topics in global economic history and comparative historical development. (Plus some random things which strike my fancy.) But inevitably the page reflects my interests.

Although I’ve listed some classics, this page isn’t about the oldies. Research moves on and I list stuff which I consider empirically current.

As usual, suggestions are welcome. Alerts to broken or inaccessible links are also welcome. (Many links are ungated. There will be alternatives to gated links later.)

Note: This is a work in progress, it’s still very disorganised, and things are still being added or deleted. {In particular, sections still missing include the transition from communism, post-war Western Europe, post-war Japan, etc.}


The British Industrial Revolution

The current major views

  • Kelly, Mokyr, & Ó Gráda (2014), “Precocious Albion: A New Interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution” {the human capital perspective}
  • Mokyr (2005), “The intellectual origins of modern economic growth”
  • Allen (2015), “The high wage economy and the industrial revolution: a restatement” [ungated]
  • Allen (2011), “Why the industrial revolution was British: commerce, induced invention, and the scientific revolution”; also see his VoxEU column
  • Crafts (2010), “Explaining the first Industrial Revolution: Two Views”
  • Ó Gráda (2016), “Did Science Cause the Industrial Revolution?” [ungated]
  • Clark (2014) “The Industrial Revolution: A Cliometric Perspective” (from Handbook of Economic Growth, Volume 2)
  • Clark (2001), “The Secret History of the Industrial Revolution”
  • Engerman & O’Brien (2004), “The industrial revolution in global perspective”
  • O’Brien (2010), “Ten Years of Debate on the Origins of the Great Divergence”
  • O’Brien (2006), “Provincializing the First Industrial Revolution”


  • Mokyr (2005), “Long-Term Economic Growth and the History of Technology” (from Handbook of Economic Growth) {ungated}
  • Bruland (2004), “Industrialisation and technological change”
  • Crafts & Harley (1992), “Output growth and the British Industrial Revolution: A Restatement of the Crafts-Harley view”
  • Berg & Hudson (1992), “Rehabilitating the industrial revolution” {ungated}
  • Temin (1997) “Two views of the British Industrial Revolution”
  • Wrigley (2013), “Energy and the English Industrial Revolution”
  • Crafts (1977), “Industrial Revolution in England and France: Some Thoughts on the Question, “Why was England First?”

Older surveys still worth reading

  • Mokyr (1998), “The Editor’s Introduction: The New Economic History and the Industrial Revolution” (also see Kevin Bryan’s post on this)
  • Inikori (2000) “The English Economy in the Longue Durée, 1086–1850”
  • Inikori (2000) “A Historiography of the First Industrial Revolution”
  • McCloskey (1994), “The Industrial Revolution 1780-1860: A Survey”
  • McCloskey (1981), “The Industrial Revolution 1780-1860: A Survey”

Preindustrial England

  • Campbell (2010), “Nature as historical protagonist: environment and society in pre-industrial England”
  • Allen (2008) “The Nitrogen Hypothesis and the English Agricultural Revolution: A Biological Analysis”
  • Stephenson (2016), “How (much) were British workers paid ? Evidence beyond wage rates”
  • Clark & Cummins (2009), “Urbanization, Mortality, and Fertility in Malthusian England”
  • Allen (2008), review of Clark’s A Farewell to Alms { imo the best parts are the critique of Clark’s neo-Malthusianism and view of institutions }
  • Clark & Hamilton (2006), “Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England”
  • Galofre-Vila et al. (2017), “Heights across England in the last 2000 years”


  • Allen (2009), “Engels’ pause: Technical change, capital accumulation, and inequality in the British industrial revolution” {I might also list Clark’s opposing view, but I think Allen really clinches the case with this paper}
  • Clark (1994), “Factory Discipline”
  • Gallardo (2016), “British well-being 1780-1850: Measuring the impact of industrialisation on wages, health, inequality, and working time”
  • Humphries (2012), “Childhood and child labour in the British industrial revolution”
  • Mokyr (1977), “Demand vs. Supply in the Industrial Revolution”
  • Bruland & Smith (2013), “Assessing the role of steam power in the first industrial revolution: The early work of Nick von Tunzelmann”
  • Howes (2016), “The Improving Mentality: Innovation during the British Industrial Revolution, 1651-1851”
  • Clark, O’Rourke, & Taylor (2014), “The growing dependence of Britain on trade during the Industrial Revolution”

Open Fields & Enclosures

  • Allen (2001), “Community and Market in England: Open Fields and Enclosures Revisited”
  • Clark (1998), “Commons Sense: Common Property Rights, Efficiency, and Institutional Change”
  • McCloskey (1995), “Allen’s Enclosure and the Yeoman: the View from Tory Fundamentalism”


Europe in the longue durée…

  • Mokyr & Voth (2010), “Understanding growth in Europe, 1700–1870: theory and evidence”
  • Broadberry & Fouquet (2015), “Seven Centuries of European Economic Growth and Decline”. Also see Nuno Palma’s blog on this.
  • Broadberry (2013), “Accounting for the great divergence” (shorter version)
  • Allen (2000), “Economic structure and agricultural productivity in Europe, 1300-1800”
  • Voigtländer & Voth (2013), “Gifts of Mars: Warfare and Europe’s Early Rise to Riches”
  • Hoffman (2012), “Why Was It Europeans Who Conquered the World?”
  • Koyama (2016), “The long transition from a natural state to a liberal economic order”
  • Johnson & Koyama (2013), “Legal centralization and the birth of the secular state”
  • Stasavage (2016), “Representation and Consent: Why They Arose in Europe and Not Elsewhere”
  • Bosker, Buringh, & van Zanden (2012), “The rise and decline of European parliaments, 1188–1789” [ungated]
  • Blaydes & Paik (2016), “The Impact of Holy Land Crusades on State Formation: War Mobilization, Trade Integration, and Political Development in Medieval Europe”
  • Koepke & Baten (2005), “The biological standard of living in Europe during the last two millennia”
  • Bosker, Buringh, & van Zanden (2013), “From Baghdad to London: Unravelling Urban Development in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, 800-1800”
  • Becker, Pfaff & Rubin (2016), “Causes and Consequences of the Protestant Reformation”
  • Iyigun (2008), “Luther & Suleyman”
  • Ogilvie (2014), “The Economics of Guilds”
  • Bateman (2011), “The evolution of markets in early modern Europe, 1350–1800: a study of wheat prices”
  • Kelly & Ó Gráda (2014), “The Waning of the Little Ice Age: Climate Change in Early Modern Europe”
  • Oster (2004), “Witchcraft, Weather and Economic Growth in Renaissance Europe”
  • Hajnal (1982), “Two kinds of pre-industrial household formation system”
  • Dennison & Ogilvie (2014), “Does the European Marriage Pattern Explain Economic Growth?”
  • O’Brien (2000), “Mercantilism and Imperialism in the Rise and Decline of the Dutch and British Economies 1585-1815”
  • Irwin (1992), “Strategic Trade Policy and Mercantilist Trade Rivalries”
  • Ridolfi (2016), “The French economy in the longue durée. A study on real wages, working days and economic performance from Louis IX to the Revolution (1250-1789)”
  • Johnson (2006), “Banking on the King: The Evolution of the Royal Revenue Farms in Old Regime France” {ungated}
  • Daudin (2010), “Domestic Trade and Market Size in Late-Eighteenth-Century France“
  • Sharp & Weisdorf (2011), “French revolution or industrial revolution? A note on the contrasting experiences of England and France up to 1800”
  • Grantham (1989), “Agricultural Supply during the Industrial Revolution. French Evidence and European Implications”
  • {hoffman view prerevolutionary french agro}
  • Alvarez-Nogal & Prados de la Escosura (2013), “The rise and fall of Spain (1270–1850)”
  • “Agriculture in European Little Divergence: The Case of Spain” (blog)
  • Drehlichman (2005), “The curse of Moctezuma: American silver and the Dutch disease”
  • van Zanden & van Leeuwen (2012), “Persistent but not consistent: The growth of national income in Holland 1347–1807”
  • Malanima (2011), “The Long Decline of a Leading Economy: GDP in Central and Northern Italy, 1300-1913”
  • Palma & Reis (2016), “From Convergence to Divergence: Portuguese Demography and Economic Growth, 1500-1850” (also see Palma’s blog at the EHS Long Run)


Global economic history topics

  • Bryan (2015), “On the Economics of the Neolithic Revolution”
  • Weisdorf (2005), “From Foraging To Farming: Explaining The Neolithic Revolution”
  • Pomeranz (2011), “How Big Should Historians Think? A Review Essay on Why the West Rules—For Now by Ian Morris”
  • Boix & Rosenbluth (2014), “Bones of Contention: The Political Economy of Height Inequality” [ungated]
  • Vollrath (2011), “The agricultural basis of comparative development” {ungated}
  • Goldstone (2002), “Efflorescences and Economic Growth in World History: Rethinking the ‘Rise of the West’ and the Industrial Revolution”
  • Mokyr (1994), “Cardwell’s Law and the political economy of technological progress”
  • Clark (2009), review of Angus Maddison’s Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030 AD {ungated}
  • Findlay & Lundahl (2006), “Population, Precious Metals, and Prices from the Black Death to the Price Revolution” (chapter in this book)
  • Findlay & Lundahl (2002), “The First Globalization Episode: The Creation of the Mongol Empire, or the Economics of Chingghis Khan” (chapter in this book)]
  • Nunn & Qian (2010), “The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas” [ungated]
  • de Vries (2011), “Industrious Peasants in East and West: Markets, Technology, and Family Structure in Japanese and Western European Agriculture”
  • Koyama (2012), “The transformation of labor supply in the pre-industrial world”
  • Federico (2004), “The Growth of  World Agricultural Production, 1800–1938”
  • Harvey et al. (2010), “The Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis: Four Centuries of Evidence”
  • O’Rourke & Willimson (2002), “When did globalisation begin?”
  • Turchin (2009), “Long-Term Population Cycles in Human Societies”
  • Lee (2003), “The Demographic Transition: Three Centuries of Fundamental Change”
  • Guinnane (2011), “The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists” [ungated]
  • Ó Gráda (2007), “Making Famine History” [ungated]
  • Steckel (2008), “Biological Measures of the Standard of Living”
  • Baten & Blum (2012), “Growing Tall but Unequal: New Findings and New Background Evidence on Anthropometric Welfare in 156 Countries, 1810–1989”
  • A’Hearn et al. (2009). “Quantifying quantitative literacy: Age heaping and the history of human capital” {ungated} [up to ~1800]
  • Crayen & Baten (2010), “Global Trends in Numeracy 1820-1949 and its Implications for Long-Run Growth” {ungated}
  • Lindert, Milanovic & Williamson (2010), “Pre-Industrial Income Inequality”
  • Milanovic (2016), “Towards an explanation of inequality in pre-modern societies:the
  • Milanovic (2010), “A short history of global inequality: The past two centuries”
  • Milanovic (2013), “Global Income Inequality in Numbers: in History and Now: the role of colonies and high population density”
  • Turchin et al. (2006), “East-West Orientation of Historical Empires and Modern States”
  • Turchin (2009), “A theory for formation of large empires”
  • Marquez (2012), “The Great Norm Shift and the Triumph of Universal Suffrage: A Very Short Quantitative History of Political Regimes, Part 1.825”
  • Jerven (2012), “An unlevel playing field: national income estimates and reciprocal comparison in global economic history”


The really long 19th century (1820-1945)

  • Daudin, Morys, & O’Rourke (2008), “Globalization, 1870-1914” (a chapter from CEHME v2)
  • Allen (2012), “Technology and the great divergence: Global economic development since 1820”
  • O’Rourke & Williamson (2017), “The Spread of Manufacturing to the Poor Periphery 1870–2007”, a fantastic VoxEU summary of their book
  • Clark (1987), “Why Isn’t the Whole World Developed? Lessons from the Cotton Mills”
  • Bairoch (1975), “International Industrialization Levels from 1750 to 1980”
  • Sugihara (2007), “Labour-intensive industrialisation in Global History”
  • Hadass & Williamson (2003), “Terms-of-Trade Shocks and Economic Performance, 1870–1940: Prebisch and Singer Revisited”
  • Williamson (2006), “Globalization, de-industrialization and underdevelopment in the third world before the modern era”
  • Williamson (2008), “Globalization and the Great Divergence: terms of trade booms, volatility and the poor periphery, 1782-1913”
  • Chaudhary et al. (2012), “Big BRICs, weak foundations: The beginning of public elementary education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China” (shorter version)
  • Saxonhouse & Wright (2010), “National Leadership and Competing Technological Paradigms: The Globalization of Cotton Spinning, 1878–1933”
  • Chandler (1984), “The Emergence of Managerial Capitalism”
  • O’Rourke (2006), “The worldwide economic impact of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1793–1815”
  • Beckert (2004), “Emancipation and Empire: Reconstructing the Worldwide Web of Cotton Production in the Age of the American Civil War”

Europe in the long 19th century

  • Harley (2013), “British and European industrialisation”
  • O’Rourke (2000), “British trade policy in the 19th century: a review article”
  • Nye (1991), “The Myth of Free-Trade Britain and Fortress France: Tariffs and Trade in the Nineteenth Century”
  • Leunig (2001), “New Answers to Old Questions: Explaining the Slow Adoption of Ring Spinning in Lancashire, 1880-1913” {contains the best summary of the long-running debate on this topic}
  • Prados de la Escosura (2016), “Spain’s Historical National Accounts: Expenditure and Output, 1850-2015” (also see his columns at VoxEU and Nada es gratis)
  • Rosés (2003), “Why Isn’t the Whole of Spain Industrialized? New Economic Geography and Early Industrialization, 1797-1910”
  • Beltrán Tapia (2016), “Common Lands & Economic Development in Spain”
  • Federico & Toniolo (1991), overview of Italian industrialisation in the 19th century fromSylla & Toniolo
  • Felice (2011), “Regional value added in Italy, 1891–2001, and the foundation of a long-term picture”
  • Ó Gráda (2004), “Ireland’s Great Famine: An Overview” (chapter in this book)
  • Vanhaute, Paping & Ó Gráda (2006), “The European subsistence crisis of 1845-1850: a comparative perspective”
  • Hatton (2014), “How have Europeans grown so tall?”


  • Lévy-Leboyer & Lescure (1991), overview of French industrialisation in the 19th century fromSylla & Toniolo
  • Crouzet (2003), “The Historiography of French Economic Growth in the Nineteenth Century”
  • Grantham (1997), “The French cliometric revolution: A survey of cliometric contributions to French economic history”.
  • Nye (2000), “The Importance of Being Late: French Economic History, Cliometrics, and the New Institutional Economics”
  • Nye (1987), “Firm Size and Industrial Backwardness: A New Look at the French Industrialization Debate”
  • Becuwe, Blancheton, & Meissner (2015), “Stages of Diversification: France, 1836-1938”


  • Tilly (2001), “German economic history and Cliometrics: A selective survey of recent tendencies”
  • Tilly (1991), overview of German industrialisation in the 19th century fromSylla & Toniolo
  • Pfister et al. (2012), “Real Wages and the Origins of Modern Economic Growth in Germany, 16th to 19th Centuries”
  • Ogilvie (1996), “The Beginnings of Industrialization”
  • Becker, Hornung & Woessmann (2010), “Being the educational world leader helped Prussia catch up in the Industrial Revolution”
  • Ewart (2006), “The biological standard of living on the decline: Episodes from Germany during early industrialisation”
  • Broadberry & Burhop (2007), “Comparative Productivity in British and German Manufacturing Before World War II”; response by Ritschl (2008); and response by Broadberry & Burhop (2008)
  • Lee (1988), “Economic Development and the State in Nineteenth-Century Germany”


The political economy of imperialism

  • O’Rourke, Prados de la Escosura, & Daudin (2008), “Trade and Empire, 1700-1870” (a chapter from CEHME v1)
  • Harley (2004), “Trade: discovery, mercantilism and technology”
  • Eltis & Engerman (2000), “The Importance of Slavery and the Slave Trade to Industrializing Britain”
  • Daudin (2004), “The Profitability of Slave and Long-Distance Trading in Context: The Case of Eighteenth-Century France”
  • O’Brien (1982), “European Economic Development: The Contribution of the Periphery”
  • O’Brien & L. Prados de la Escosura (1986), “The costs and benefits for Europeans of their empires overseas”
  • Offer (1993), “The British empire, 1870-1914: a waste of money?”
  • Marseille (1985), “The phases of French colonial imperialism: towards a new periodization”
  • Clarence-Smith (1979), “The myth of uneconomic imperialism: the Portuguese in Angola, 1836-1926”


US economic history

  • Gallman (2000), “Economic Growth and Structural Change in the Long Nineteenth Century” (chapter from CEHUSAv2)
  • Allen (2014) “American Exceptionalism as a Problem in Global History”
  • Olmstead & Rhode (1993), “Induced Innovation in American Agiculture: A Reconsideration”
  • Wright (1990), “The origins of American industrial success, 1879–1940”
  • Irwin (2003), “Explaining America’s Surge in Manufactured Exports, 1880-1913”
  • Atack (1986), “Firm Size and Industrial Structure in the United States During the Nineteenth Century”
  • Lindert & Williamson (2013), “American Incomes before and after the Revolution” [ungated]
  • Wallis (2007) ,”American Government and the Promotion of Economic Development In the National Era, 1790 to 1860″ [ungated]
  • Meyer, “The Roots of American Industrialization, 1790-1860” ( article)
  • Lamoreaux & Wallis (2015), “States, Not Nation: The Sources of Political and Economic Development in the Early United States “
  • Smith (1980), “A Malthusian-Frontier Interpretation of United States Demographic History Before c. 1815”
  • Lamoreaux (2003), “Rethinking the Transition to Capitalism in the Early American Northeast”
  • Temin (1991), “Free Land and Federalism: A Synoptic View of American Economic History”
  • Komlos (2012), “A Three-Decade History of the Antebellum Puzzle: Explaining the Shrinking of the U.S. Population at the Onset of Modern Economic Growth”
  • Naidu (2016), “What would the United States have looked like had microbes and strength of arms not been on the Plymouth Protestants’ side?”
  • Goldin & Lewis (1975), “The Economic Cost of the American Civil War: Estimates and Implications”
  • Ransom, The Economics of the Civil War ( article)
  • Abramitsky & Boustan (2017), “Immigration in American Economic History”
  • Field (2003), “The Most Technologically Progressive Decade of the Century” [i.e., the 1930s….]
  • Lindert & Williamson (2016), “Unequal gains: American growth and inequality since 1700”
  • Bleakley & Ferrie (2016), “Random Wealth in Antebellum Georgia and Human Capital Across Generations”
  • Lamoreaux, “Beyond the Old and the New: Economic History in the United States”, a chapter published in Boldizzoni & Hudson.
  • Rosenthal (2016), “Seeking a Quantitative Middle Ground: Reflections on Methods and Opportunities in Economic History”
  • Davis’s review of Fogel’s Railroads & American Economic Growth; and Bleakley’s article about his own revision of Fogel
  • Hanes & Rhode (2012), “Harvests and Financial Crises in Gold-Standard America”
  • Rosenbloom & Sundstrom (2009), “Labor market regimes in US history”
  • DeLong (1991), “Did J. P. Morgan’s Men Add Value? An Economist’s Perspective on Financial Capitalism”
  • DeLong (1998), “Robber Barons”
  • Devine (1983), “From Shafts to Wires: Historical Perspective on Electrification”
  • Wright (1981), “Cheap Labor and Southern Textiles, 1880-1930”
  • Gordon (2014), “The Demise of U.S. Economic Growth: Restatement, Rebuttal, and Reflections”
  • DeLong (1996), “America’s Peacetime Inflation: The 1970s “
  • antebellum textile debates }
  • { 19th century labour scarcity debate ??? }
  • { postbellum southern industrialisation }

Slavery & The Historians of Capitalism

  • “Shackles and Dollars: Historians and economists clash over slavery”, article in Chronicle of Higher Education [ungated]
  • Journal of Economic Historyroundtable on Baptist [ungated]
  • Hilt (2016), “Economic History, Historical Analysis, and the ‘New History of Capitalism'”
  • Olmstead & Rhode (2016), “Cotton, Slavery, and the New History of Capitalism”
  • Hansen, “Counterfactuals and the Study of History“
  • Hansen, “Even More on Capitalism and Slavery“
  • Hansen, “Capitalism and Slavery Debate is not about differences in methodology“
  • Clegg (2015), “Capitalism and Slavery”
  • Baptist response to critics (the Junto blog)
  • Domar (1970), “The Causes of Slavery or Serfdom: A Hypothesis”
  • Engerman (1986), “Slavery and emancipation in comparative perspective”
  • DeLong (2005), “Who benefited from North American slavery?”
  • { TOC slavery debate }
  • { emancipation }


Institutions: Dominant Views

  • North, Wallis, & Weingast (2006), “A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History”
  • Engerman & Sokoloff (2000), “Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World”
  • Acemoglu, Johnson & Robinson (2005), “Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth”

Institutions: Sceptical Views

  • Ogilvie & Carus (2014), “Institutions & Economic Growth in Historical Perspective”
  • Ogilvie (2007), “‘Whatever Is, Is Right’? Economic Institutions in Pre-Industrial Europe”
  • Iyigun (2012), “Are We There Yet? Time for Checks and Balances on New Institutionalism”
  • Irigoin & Grafe (2012), “Bounded Leviathan: or why North and Weingast are only right on the right half”
  • Vollrath (2014) “The Skeptics’ Guide to Institutions” (4 parts)
  • Glaeser et al. (2004), “Do Institutions Cause Growth?”
  • Clark (2007), review of Avner Greif’s Institutions & the Path to the Modern Economy

Effective states

  • Johnson & Koyama (2016), “States and economic growth: Capacity and constraints”
  • Dincecco (2015), “The Rise of Effective States in Europe”
  • Bardhan (2016), “State and Development: The Need for a Reappraisal of the Current Literature”

Informal Institutions

  • Alesina & Giuliano (2015), “Culture & Institutions”
  • Greif (1994), “Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies”
  • Greif (2000), “The fundamental problem of exchange: A research agenda in Historical Institutional Analysis”
  • Greif (2006a), “Family Structure, Institutions, and Growth: The Origins and Implications of Western Corporations”
  • Greif (2006b), “The Birth of Impersonal Exchange: The Community Responsibility System and Impartial Justice”
  • Greif (2008), “Coercion and Exchange: How did Markets Evolve?”
  • Schultz (2016), “The Churches’ Bans on Consanguineous Marriages, Kin-Networks and Democracy”
  • Greif & Mokyr (2017), “Cognitive rules, institutions, and economic growth”


Culture, Norms & Endogenous Preferences

  • Nunn (2012), “Culture and the Historical Process”
  • Guiso, Sapienza, & Zingales (2006), “Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?”
  • Alesina & Giuliano (2014), “Family Ties” (from Handbook of Economic Growth)
  • Alesina, Giuliano, & Nunn (2013), “On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough”
  • Iyer (2016), “The New Economics of Religion”
  • Aldashev & Platteau (2014), “Religion, Culture, and Development”
  • Bowles & Polanía-Reyes (2012), “Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: Substitutes or Complements?”
  • Fehr & Fischbacher (2002), “Why Social Preferences Matter: The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition, Cooperation, & Incentives”
  • Jakiela (2014), “Using Economic Experiments to Measure Informal Institutions” (chapter from Galiani & Sened)
  • Oosterbeek et al. (2004), “Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis”
  • Johnson & Mislin (2011), “Trust Games: A Meta-Analysis”
  • Bigoni et al. (2016), “Amoral Familism, Social Capital, or Trust? The Behavioural Foundations of the Italian North-South Divide”
  • Alesina & Fuchs (2007), “Good-Bye Lenin (or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People’s Preferences”

Cultural Evolution

  • Henrich (2015), “Culture & Social Behavior”
  • Boyd, Richerson, & Henrich (2002), “Cultural Evolution of Human Cooperation”
  • Henrich (2004), “Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation”
  • Ostrom (2000), “Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms” {ungated}
  • Proto, Rustichini, & Sofianos (2014), “Higher Intelligence Groups Have Higher Cooperation Rates in the Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma”
  • Richerson & Henrich (2012), “Tribal Social Instincts and the Cultural Evolution of Institutions to Solve Collective Action Problems”
  • Newson & Richerson (2009), “Why Do People Become Modern? A Darwinian Explanation”
  • Henrich et al. (2001) “In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies”
  • Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan (2010), “The weirdest people in the world?”
  • Henrich, Boyd, & Richerson (2012), “The puzzle of monogamous marriage”
  • Nowak et al. (2015), “The Evolutionary Basis of Honor Cultures”


The impact of colonialism on colonies

  • Pepinsky (2016), “The New Political Economy of Colonialism”
  • Acemoglu & Robinson (2017), “The economic impact of colonialism”
  • Heldring & Robinson (2012), “Colonialism and Economic Development in Africa” (also see their shorter version)
  • Michalopoulos & Papaioannou(2017), 2nd volume of the PDF e-booklet “The Long Economic and Political Shadow of History”, mostly covers the impact of colonialism in Africa and Asia.

More unusual views:

  • Frankema (2009), “The colonial roots of land inequality: geography, factor endowments, or institutions?”
  • Easterly & Levine (2016), “The European origins of economic development”; also see their VoxEU column
  • Fails & Krieckhaus (2010), “Colonialism, Property Rights and the Modern World Income Distribution”
  • Booth & Deng {2016}, “Japanese colonialism in comparative perspective”
  • Frankema (2010), “Raising revenue in the British empire, 1870–1940: how ‘extractive’ were colonial taxes?”

Two famous papers which appear on most syllabi on the impact of colonialism are:

  • Nunn (2008), “The Long-Term Effects of Africa’s Slave Trades”; also see Nunn’s recent VoxEU column surveying the now-sizeable literature built on top of his 2008 paper
  • Banerjee & Iyer (2005), “History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India”

And dissenting comment papers which don’t get as much attention:

  • Bottero & Wallace (working paper), “Is There a Long-Term Effect of Africa’s Slave Trades?”
  • Iversen, Palmer-Jones & Sen (2013), “On the Colonial Origins of Agricultural Development in India: A Reexamination of Banerjee and Iyer, ‘History, Institutions and Economic Performance'”


Trade & Development

  • Harrison & Rodríguez-Clare (2010), “Trade, Foreign Investment, and Industrial Policy for Developing Countries” {from Handbook of Development Economics, Vol 5 }
  • Meissner (2014), “Growth from Globalization? A View from the Very Long Run”
  • Crafts & Venables (2003), “Globalization in History. A Geographical Perspective”
  • Rodrik (2007), “Industrial development: Some stylized facts and policy directions”
  • Aghion et al. (2015), “Industrial Policy and Competition” {ungated}
  • Rodrik (2005), “Trade & Industrial Policy Reform” {chapter from Handbook of Development Economics vol 3B}
  • Rodríguez & Rodrik (2000), “Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Cross-National Evidence”
  • Robinson (2010), “Industrial Policy and Development: A Political Economy Perspective”
  • Baldwin (2014), “Trade and Industrialization after Globalization’s Second Unbundling: How Building and Joining a Supply Chain Are Different and Why It Matters”
  • Bruton (1998), “A Reconsideration of Import Substitution”
  • Krueger (1997), “Trade Policy and Economic Development: How We Learn”
  • Taylor (1998), “On the Costs of Inward-Looking Development: Price Distortions, Growth, and Divergence in Latin America”
  • DeLong (1995), “Trade Policy and America’s Standard of Living: An Historical Perspective” (published in Collins)
  • Irwin (2001), “Tariffs & Growth in Late Nineteenth Century America”
  • Irwin (2004), review of Ha Joon Chang’s Kicking Away the Ladder
  • Easterly (2009), review of Ha Joon Chang’s Bad Samaritans
  • Baldwin (1969)


Growth & Development

  • Gollin (2014), “The Lewis Model: A 60-Year Retrospective”
  • Banerjee & Duflo (2005), “Growth Theory through the Lens of Development Economics”
  • Kraay & McKenzie (2014), “Do Poverty Traps Exist? Assessing the Evidence”
  • Toye & Toye (2003), “The Origins and Interpretation of the Prebisch-Singer Thesis”
  • Szirmai (2011), “Industrialisation as an engine of growth in developing countries, 1950–2005”
  • Fleitas (2016), comment on Timmer & de Vries, “Patterns of Structural Change in Developing Countries”
  • McMillan & Rodrik (2011), “Globalization, Structural Change, and Productivity Growth” (longer version)
  • Hausmann, Hwang & Rodrik (2007), “What You Export Matters”
  • Imbs & Wacziarg (2003), “Stages of Diversification”
  • Venables (2016), “Using Natural Resources for Development: Why Has It Proven So Difficult?”
  • Rodrik (2012), “Unconditional convergence in manufacturing” (shorter version)
  • Rodrik (2015), “Premature Deindustrialization” (shorter version)
  • Rodrik (1999), “Where did all the growth go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses”
  • Rodrik (1998), “Globalisation, Social Conflict, and Economic Growth”
  • Easterly (2002), “How Did Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Become Heavily Indebted? Reviewing Two Decades of Debt Relief”
  • Banerjee & Duflo (2007), “The Economic Lives of the Poor”
  • Besley & Ghatak (2010), “Property Rights and Economic Development”
  • Jayachandran (2015), “The Roots of Gender Inequality in Developing Countries”
  • Blaydes & Kayser (2011), “Counting Calories: Democracy and Distribution in the Developing World”
  • Currie & Vogl (2013), “Lasting effects of childhood health in developing countries” (shorter version)
  • Pritchett (2006), “Does Learning to Add up Add up? The Returns to Schooling in Aggregate Data” {ungated}
  • Hanushek & Woessmann (2008), “The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development”
  • Glewwe & Kremer (2006), “Schools, Teachers, and Education Outcomes in Developing Countries” {ungated}
  • Hanushek & Woessmann (2012), “Schooling, educational achievement, and the Latin American growth puzzle”
  • Sandefur (2016), “Internationally Comparable Mathematics Scores for Fourteen African Countries”
  • Bloom & van Reenan (2010), “Why Do Management Practices Differ across Firms and Countries?”

Cross-country growth

  • Klenow & Rodríguez-Clare (2005), “Externalities & Growth” {from Handbook of Economic Growth, Volume 1A}
  • Easterly, Kremer, Pritchard & Summers (1993), “Good policy or good luck? Country growth performance and temporary shocks”
  • DeLong & Dowrick (2003), “Globalization and Convergence”
  • Crafts & O’Rourke (2014), “Twentieth Century Growth”
  • Easterly (2005), “National Policies and Economic Growth: A Reappraisal”
  • Easterly & Levine (2001), “It’s Not Factor Accumulation: Stylized Facts and Growth Models”
  • Pritchett (1997), “Divergence, Big Time”
  • Bosworth & Collins (2003), “Empirics of Growth: An Update”
  • Agenor (2016), “Caught in the Middle? The Economics of Middle-Income Traps”
  • Hsieh & Olken (2014), “The Missing ‘Missing Middle’ ” {about the size and distribution of firms in developing countries}
  • Márquez (2015), “The Mismeasure of Growth” {a visual representation of the gaps between various GDP datasets}

Agriculture & Structural Transformation

  • Stiglitz (1989), “Rational Peasants, Efficient Institutions, and a Theory of Rural Organization”
  • Marc Bellemare’s great list stressing agriculture including Bardhan, Fafchamps, Scott, and Eugen Weber.
  • Gollin (2010), “Agricultural Productivity and Economic Growth”
  • Herrendorf et al. (2014), “Growth and Structural Transformation”
  • Gollin et al. (2016), “Two Blades of Grass: The Impact of the Green Revolution”
  • Gollin et al. (2014), “Agricultural Productivity Differences Across Countries”
  • Vollrath (2011), “The agricultural basis of comparative development”
  • {eberhardt & vollrath, crop type; ag tech ?}

Economic Growth

  • Jones (2015), “Facts of Economic Growth” {working paper}
  • Jones & Romer (2010), “The New Kaldor Facts: Ideas, Institutions, Population, and Human Capital”
  • Aghion, Akigit, & Howitt (2014), “What Do We Learn From Schumpeterian Growth Theory?”
  • Jones (2011), “Misallocation, Economic Growth, and Input-Output Economics” {working paper}



  • Gupta, Ma, & Roy (2016), “States and Development: Early Modern India, China, and the Great Divergence”
  • Broadberry & Gupta (2006), “The early modern great divergence: wages, prices and economic development in Europe and Asia, 1500–1801”
  • T. Greer on war and state formation in China, Japan, and Europe
  • Perkins & Tang (2015), “East Asian Industrial Pioneers: Japan, Korea and Taiwan” (a chapter in this book)
  • Bosworth & Collins (1996), “Economic Growth in East Asia: Accumulation versus Assimilation”
  • Rodrik (1995), “Getting Interventions Right: How South Korea and Taiwan grew rich”
  • Grabowski (2011), “East Asia, Land Reform and Economic Development”
  • Amsden (1991), “Diffusion of Development: The Late-Industrializing Model and Greater East Asia”
  • Lane (2017), “Manufacturing Revolutions: Industrial Policy and Networks in South Korea”
  • van Zanden (2003), “Rich and poor before the Industrial Revolution: a comparison between Java and the Netherlands at the beginning of the 19th century”
  • van der Eng (2010), “The sources of long-term economic growth in Indonesia, 1880–2008”
  • { more coming! }



Long run

  • Deng & O’Brien (2016), “China’s GDP Per Capita from the Han Dynasty to Communist Times”
  • Pomeranz (2008), “Chinese Development in Long-Run Perspective”
  • Brandt, Ma, & Rawski (2014), “From Divergence to Convergence: Reevaluating the History Behind China’s Economic Boom”
  • Deng (2000), “A Critical Survey of Recent Research in of Chinese Economic History.” EHR
  • Ko, Koyama, & Sng (2014), “Unified China and Divided Europe”
  • Bai & Kung (2011), “Climate Shocks and Sino-Nomadic Conflict”
  • Lee & Feng (1999), “Malthusian Models and Chinese Realities: The Chinese Demographic System 1700-2000”
  • Lee, Campbell, & Feng (2002), “Positive Check or Chinese Checks?”
  • Daniel Little on Mark Elvin’s “high level equilibrium trap” {if anyone has a PDF of the original Elvin article that’s been published in several books, I’d appreciate it}
  • Edwards (2013), “Redefining Industrial Revolution: Song China and England”
  • Wright (2007), “An Economic Cycle in Imperial China? Revisiting Robert Hartwell on Iron and Coal”

Early Modern

  • Ma (2004), “Growth, Institutions and Knowledge: A Review and Reflection on the Historiography of 18th-20th century China”
  • Deng (2015), “China’s Population Expansion and Its Causes during the Qing Period, 1644–1911”
  • Baten, Ma, Morgan & Wang (2010), “Evolution of living standards and human capital in China in the 18–20th centuries: Evidences from real wages, age-heaping, and anthropometrics”
  • Moise (1977), “Downward Social Mobility in Pre-Revolutionary China”

the Great Divergence

In recent years, after the Arab Spring events of 2010 and beyond, civil wars and disarray in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen have undermined economic growth in countries of the MENA region. Yet for over half a century before that, MENA was a relatively successful region in terms of growth, with per capita GDP growth rates between 1960 and 2010 generally higher than world averages except during the 1980s, when the Iran-Iraq war and the 1986 collapse of oil prices had a significant impact. See Fig. 1.

Figure. 1. Annual growth rates of per capita GDP in MENA countries as compared to the whole world in 1961-2014

Source: World Development Indicators Database.

While growth rates in the per capita GDP of MENA countries in the postwar period were well below that of the East Asian ‘tigers’ and ‘dragons’ (Fig. 2, 3), and a little below that of South Asia as well, they were higher than in other regions of the global south, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union. Three countries in the MENA region – Israel, Oman, and Tunisia – were among the 20 fastest growing countries in the world between 1950 and 2010 (Fig. 4, Table 1).

Figure 2. PPP GDP per capita in countries that took off after World War Two (Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong Singapore, S. Korea)

Source: Maddison (2013).

Figure 3. PPP GDP per capita in countries that took off in the 1960s and later (SEA and China)

Source: Maddison (2013).

Figure 4. PPP GDP per capita in some countries outside East Asia that took off in the 1960s and later (India, Tunisia, Botswana)

Source: Maddison (2013).

In terms of social progress – education and life expectancy – the achievements of the MENA region were even more spectacular. Many MENA countries increased their life expectancy greatly between 1960 and 2010; in most of them, it exceeded 70 years (in comparison, it was 72 years for Russia in 2015). See Fig. 5.

Human Development Index (HDI) – an average of calibrated indicators of per capita income, educational levels (enrolment and years of schooling), and life expectancy – scores increased by 65% in Arab countries between 1970 and 2010, which is more than in any other region of the world except for East Asia (96%) and South Asia (72%) – See Table 2. The increase in life expectancy between 1970 and 2010 in Arab countries was the highest in the world, whereas the increase in school enrolment and literacy was higher than in all other regions of the world except Sub-Saharan Africa, which started from a very low base level (Table 2).

As Table 3 shows, out of 22 countries which most increased their HDI between 1980 and 2010, six are Arab countries, seven are MENA countries, and 11 are Muslim countries. Of the 10 countries with the greatest increase in HDI between 1970 and 2010, there are five MENA countries (Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco). And 6 out of 10 leaders in the improvement of non-income HDI (education and life expectancy) are also from the MENA region – Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lybia, Algeria, Tunisia, Iran (Table 4).

Table 1. Fastest growing countries – average annual per capita real GDP growth rates in 1950-2013 (MENA states highlighted in bold)

Country / PeriodGrowth rate in 1950-2010


Growth rate in 1960-2010


Growth rate in 1960-2013 (WDI)
S. Korea5.545.915.97
Hong Kong SAR, China4.484.674.17
Botswana (Maddison data – until 2008)4.465.075.66
Burma (Myanmar)3.803.842.77 (1960-2004)
Israel 3.252.872.98
Montenegro3.18 (1952-2010)3.18
Ireland3.143.333.14 (1971-2013)
Tunisia 2.953.162.94
Lesotho (Maddison data – until 2008)2.882.943.06
Sri Lanka2.452.883.42

Source: Maddison, 2013; World Development Indicators database.

Figure. 5. Life expectancy in selected Middle Eastern countries

Source: World Development Indicators database.

Table 2. Human Development Index and its components for major regions, 1970-2010

Source: Human Development Report. UNDP

Table 3.  Countries with the highest growth in Human Development Index scores, 1980-2010, percentage increases (Arab countries highlighted in bold, Muslim non-Arab countries in italics)

Country% IncreaseCountry% Increase
Egypt58Papua and New Guinea46
Tunisia56El Salvador45

Source: Human Development Report. UNDP.

Table 4. Top 10 countries with highest increases in HDI and its components, 1970-2010

Source: Table 2.2 of Human Development Report 2010. UNDP.

To put it differently, in terms of economic progress, MENA countries may not have been the leaders between 1950 and 2010, but they were not the laggards, either, falling in between rapidly growing East and South Asia and more slowly growing Latin America, OECD countries, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the former Soviet Union. But regarding social progress in the several decades before the Arab Spring (1970-2010), MENA regions did better than all the other regions of the developing world.

On top of that, inequalities in the MENA region were lower than in other countries with a similar level of economic development. Controlling for many factors (size, population density, per capita income, urbanisation, democracy, a communist past, government effectiveness index) it turns out that Muslim countries have Gini coefficients for income distribution that are five percentage points lower than in other countries.[1]

But the most important advantage of MENA countries that is very often lacking in other parts of the developing world is the strength of state institutions – a crucial prerequisite for stable and strong economic growth. State institutional capacity is defined here as the ability of the state to enforce rules and regulations. Subjective measures of this state capacity – indices of government effectiveness, the rule of law, corruption, etc. – have a number of shortcomings (Popov, 2011), but there are objective indicators, such as crime rate, murder rate, the proportional size of the shadow economy, and the ability of the state to enforce its monopoly on violence and taxation.

The general rule is that East Asian, South Asian, and MENA countries have murder rates of 1-10 murders per 100,000 inhabitants and a shadow economy at less than 30% of GDP, whereas in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and some former Soviet Union republics (the Baltics, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine) the murder rate is higher by an order of magnitude of 10-100 murders per 100,000 and the shadow economy represents way over 30% of GDP (Figs. 6-8, see Popov, 2014 for details). Economic growth in large regions of the global south correlate strongly with the murder rate and the size of the shadow economy: the higher the murder rate and the shadow economy, the lower the growth. East Asia is ahead of everyone in terms of growth, followed by South Asia and the MENA region, while Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the former Soviet Union are falling behind.

In fact, the murder rate and the share of the shadow economy – objective indicators of the institutional capacity of the state – turn out to be the best institutional predictors of the long-term growth rates of GDP per capita. In regressions for over 50 years (1960-2013) for 80 countries for which data are available, up to 40% of variations in GDP per capita growth are explained by the level of development (GDP per capita) and institutional indicators (murder rate and share of shadow economy)[2]. These regressions are quite robust and hold for different sub-periods (1960-75, 1975-2000, 2000-13). Among variables that are not directly related to growth, such as investment rate, population growth rates, etc., state institutional capacity turns out to be the single most important predictor of growth (Popov, 2015). The negative relationship between growth rate and state institutional capacity as measured by the murder rate and the shadow economy’s share of GDP can be observed with the naked eye in Figs. 9 and 10. And countries with high income and wealth inequalities usually have higher murder rates and larger shadow economies (Figs. 11 and 12).

Figure. 6. Average murder rates in 1960-2013 by decades, per 100,000 inhabitants, log scale (countries for which data are available for three or more decades)

Source: List of countries by intentional homicide rate. Data are taken from different sources (mostly national data provided to WHO) and sometimes are not strictly comparable.

Figure. 7. Murder rate in countries with less than 1.5 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2008

Source: UNODC.

Figure. 8. Murder rate in countries with over 15 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2008

Source: UNODC.

Figure 9. Murder rate in 2002 per 100,000 inhabitants and average annual per capita GDP growth rates in 1960-2013

Source: WDI; WHO.


Figure 10. Shadow economy in 2005 and annual average growth rates of per capita GDP in 1960-2013

Source: WDI; Schneider (2007).


Figure 11. Shadow economy and Gini coefficient of income inequalities in 1990-2005

Source: WDI; Schneider (2007).


Figure 12. Murder rate and Gini coefficient of income inequalities in 1990-2005

Source: WHO; WDI; Schneider (2007).

Manufacturing growth is like cooking a tasty dish – all necessary ingredients should be in the right proportion. If even one of them is under or overrepresented, the ‘chemistry of growth’ will not happen. Fast economic growth can materialise in practice only if several necessary conditions are met at the same time.

Rapid growth is a complicated process that requires some crucial inputs – infrastructure, human capital, strong state institutions, even distribution of land in agrarian countries, and economic stimuli, among other things. Once one of these crucial ingredients is missing, growth simply does not take off. Rodrik, Hausmann and Velasco (2005) talk about “binding constraints” that hold back economic growth; finding these constraints is the task of “growth diagnostics”. In some cases, these constraints are associated with the lack of market liberalisation, in others, with the lack of state capacity or human capital or infrastructure.

Why did economic liberalisation work in central Europe, but not in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America? The answer, according to the approach outlined above, would be that in central Europe the missing ingredient actually was economic liberalisation, whereas in SSA and Latin America it was a lack of state capacity instead. Why did economic liberalisation work in China and central Europe and not in the Commonwealth of Independent States that took shape in the wake of the Soviet Union’s demise? Because in the CIS it was carried out in a manner that undermined state capacity – the precious heritage of socialist past – whereas in central Europe, and even more so in China, state capacity did not decline substantially during the transition.

MENA countries have lower inequality and stronger state institutional capacity, i.e., the ability to enforce rules and regulations – including the ability to control crime and the shadow economy – whatever those rules and regulations may be. For the purposes of comparison, the following statistics are illuminating: in China, the murder rate was 1 per 100,000 inhabitants under Mao, about 2 in the 1990s-2000s and again 1 in 2010 (Fig. 13), whereas in Russia it went up from 7-10 in late Soviet times to 30 in the rocky 1990s and declined again to about 10 by 2014 (Fig. 14). In MENA countries, these rates during peacetime were normally in the range of 1 to 5 per 100,000 inhabitants (but less than 1.5 for Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain; see Fig. 7). No wonder such strong institutional capacity contributed to relatively strong economic performance and exceptional increases in life expectancy and educational attainments in recent decades, especially in periods with no wars and civil conflicts.

Figure. 13. Murder rate in China per 100,000

Source: UNODC.

Figure. 14. Crime rate (left scale), murder rates and suicide rate (right scale) per 100,000 inhabitants

Source: Federal Statistical Service of the Russian Federation.

As they look to the future, MENA countries still possess many crucial ingredients of economic growth: natural resources; human capital; relatively low inequality; and, most importantly, strong state institutions, ensuring low crime and shadow economy rates. They were making rapid economic and social progress between 1960 and 2010, and many still retain the necessary pre-conditions to become growth miracles in the future, provided that ethnic and religious conflicts are effectively managed and peace prevails.


Vladimir Popov

Research Director, Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute



Popov, V. (2011). Developing New Measurements of State Institutional Capacity. PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo No. 158, May 2011.

Popov, V. (2014). Mixed Fortunes: An Economic History of China, Russia and the West. Oxford University Press, April 2014.

Popov, V. (2015). Catching Up: Developing Countries in Pursuit of Growth. MPRA Paper No. 65878, August 2015.

Rodic, D, Hausmann, R., and Velasco, A. (2005). Growth Diagnostics.


[1]y = -0.0003*** Ycap75  – 0.03*MURDERS –0.14***SHADOW  + 5.32***

(-4.95)              (1.67)                          (-4.82)            (8.55)

N=80,     R2 = 0.38, robust standard errors, T-statistics in brackets below;

y = 0.003***POPDENS – 0.0002*** Ycap75  – 0.023 MURDERS –0.067***SHADOW  + 5.04***

(4.08)                     (-4.33)                      (-1.62)                                 (-4.40)        (7.67)

N=80,  R2 = 0.40, robust standard errors, T-statistics in brackets below, where

y –annual average growth rates of per capita GDP in 1960-2013, %,

POPDENS – number of residents per 1 square km in 2000,

Ycap75 – per capita PPP GDP in 1975 in dollars,

MURDERS – number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2002,

SHADOW – share of the shadow economy in GDP in 2005, %.

Data on growth, population density and PPP GDP per capita are from WDI, data on murders are from WHO, data on the shadow economy are from Schneider, 2007 (measures of the shadow economy are derived from the divergence between output dynamics and electricity consumption, demand for real cash balances, etc.)

[2] Regression equation linking inequalities with various determinants is given below:

Ineq = –0.26*** Y95us + 0.016*** PopDens + 6.47*1007***AREA– 832.1***Y99/Area+  0.18***URBAN – 4.11**Islam + 12.24*** TRANS – 4.07**GE2002 1.17*DEM –  0.09**EXfuel + 46.4***,

N = 114,   R-squared =  0.6089,


IneqGini coefficient of income distribution in 1990-2005 (last available year),

 Y95us – PPP GDP per capita in 1995 as a % of the US level,

PopDens population density in 2002 (number of persons per 1 sq. km),

TRANSdummy variable for the communist past,

DEM– average index of authoritarianism in 1970-2002 (average index of political rights from Freedom House, varies from 1 to 7, higher values indicate more authoritarianism)

GE2002 –  government effectiveness index in 2002,

URBAN –share of urban population in 2002,

Y99/Area – ratio of PPP GDP in 1999 per 1 square km of national territory,

Islam – dummy variable for the membership in Organization of Islamic Conference.


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Vladimir Popov is a Principal Researcher in the Central Economics and Mathematics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is also a professor emeritus at the New Economic School in Moscow, and an adjunct research professor at the Institute of European and Russian Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. In 2009-15 he worked in DESA, UN, as a Senior Economic Affairs Officer and Inter-regional Adviser. He has published extensively on world economy and development issues (he is the editor of three books, and author of ten books and hundreds of articles, including in the Journal of Comparative Economics, World Development, Comparative Economic Studies, Cambridge Journal of Economics, New Left Review, as well as essays in the media). His books and articles have been published in Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. His most recent book is “Mixed Fortunes: An Economic History of China, Russia, and the West” (Oxford University Press, 2014). He graduated from the Economics Department of the Moscow State University in 1976, and holds PhDs (Candidate of Science, 1980; and Doctor of Science, 1990) from the Institute for US and Canadian Studies of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. More info can be found at his website:

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