Region Focus

Second Quarter 2011

Why Aren’t All Countries Rich? Economists question why some countries stagnate and others thrive

Sound institutions are essential to economic growth, but there is considerable debate about how countries can acquire them -- and how to feed and educate their citizens in the meantime.

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Related Links

CIA World Factbook

World Bank Poverty and Inequality Database

Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson, and James A. Robinson. “The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation.” American Economic Review vol. 91, no. 5, December 2001, pp. 1369-1401. Earlier working paper version.

Aker, Jenny C. and Isaac M. Mbiti. “Mobile Phones and Development in Africa.” Journal of Economic Perspectives vol. 24, no. 3, Summer 2010, pp. 207-232.

Chen, Shaohua  and Martin Ravallion. "The Developing World Is Poorer Than We Thought, but No Less Successful in the Fight Against Poverty." World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4703, August 2008.

Deininger, Klaus, and Lyn Squire. “Measuring Income Inequality: A New Database.” Harvard Institute for International Development Discussion Paper No. 537, May 1996.

Olson, Mancur Jr. “Big Bills Left on the Sidewalk: Why Some Nations Are Rich, and Others Poor.” Journal of Economic Perspectives vol. 10, no. 2, Spring 1996, pp. 3-24.

Pritchett, Lant, Michael Woolcock, and Matt Andrews. “Capability Traps? The Mechanisms of Persistent Implementation Failure.” Center for Global Development Working Paper 234, December 2010.

Rodrik, Dani, Arvind Subramanian, and Francesco Trebbi. “Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development.” Journal of Economic Growth vol. 9, no. 2, June 2004, pp. 131-165.

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