The Importance of History for Economic Development
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.
Forthcoming in the Annual Review of Economics. I have benefitted from useful discussions with Daron Acemoglu, Robert Bates, Joseph Henrich, Karla Hoff, Joel Mokyr and James Robinson. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
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