The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Growth and Institutions

  • Daron Acemoglu
Reference work entry


Institutions are often viewed as a key determinant of economic growth. Much research inquires whether the institutions that influence economic outcomes are themselves determined by other factors. European colonization of the world provides a laboratory in which to investigate these issues since it exogenously imposed different institutions on otherwise identical societies. Colonies where Europeans settled had institutions that protected property rights, and have since prospered, while other colonies were given centralized repressive states that extracted resources from the population and have largely remained relatively poor. Choice of institutions reflects the distribution of political power in a society.


Colonization Commitment Growth and governance Growth and institutions Mortality North, D. Political institutions, economic approaches to Property rights 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daron Acemoglu
    • 1
  1. 1.