Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Disease, Institutions and Underdevelopment

Hasan, Lubna (2009): Disease, Institutions and Underdevelopment.

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Abstract

What explains poverty of Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia? One view holds the disease environment of these regions as the primary culprit. Others see it as a typical symptom of growth retarding institutions. We test validity of these competing assertions for a cross section of countries. Our results indicate that institutions are the prime determinant of economic performance of countries. Disease does not play a significant role in determining outcomes. On the contrary, we find support for the indirect effect of disease via institutions, as asserted by the 'institutions school'. Interestingly, the 'institutions school' contention about geography having no direct effect on income is also not validated. Our results show that being land locked can pose significant disadvantage for a country. Endowment of hydrocarbon, however, is beneficial for economic outcomes.

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