The Effect of Geography on Institutions
Institutions are important but where do institutions come from? Why do some countries have better institutions than others? Geography may play an indirect role in growth, through institutions, as well as a direct role.
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I'm curious why sugar is consider a factor endowment. It was a nonnative crop. (Sugarcane is native to Asia, and until its widespread cultivation in tropical regions of the New World most sugar was produced in India.) Isn't "climate suitable for growing sugar" the factor endowment?
To what degree do you think the institutions and culture of the colonizing countries mattered? Had Spain colonized New England, do you think the institutions established there would have generally been the same?