November 1st, 2013

The Three Reasons Countries Get Rich: Location, Location and Location

Economics & Politics

It’s an age-old question: why are some countries richer than others? And why are some countries still mired in poverty while the United States and Europe struggle with “first-world problems”?

For decades, economists have pointed to the impact of political institutions and culture on countries’ economic development. Farther down the development road, the choices our leaders make, the well-known author Jared Diamond has argued on the NewsHour, have a lot to do with which societies overcome crisis and which self-destruct.

But in research published this month, famed development economist Jeffrey Sachs, of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and Gordon McCord, of the University of California, San Diego, diverge from the canon’s emphasis on institutions, and instead highlight a different set of factors to explain which nations made it first and why poor countries are still poor.

Read the full article on PBS NewsHour


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