NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Importance of History for Economic Development

Nathan Nunn

NBER Working Paper No. 14899
Issued in April 2009
NBER Program(s):   POL

This article provides a survey of a growing body of empirical evidence that points towards the important long-term effects that historic events can have on current economic development. The most recent studies, using micro-level data and more sophisticated identification techniques, have moved beyond testing whether history matters, and attempt to identify exactly why history matters. The most commonly examined channels include: institutions, culture, knowledge and technology, and movements between multiple equilibria. The article concludes with a discussion of the questions that remain and the direct of current research in the literature.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14899

Published: Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, 05. citation courtesy of

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