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Journal of Economic Literature - Book Review

JEL Volume. 50, Issue 3 | leftPrevious Review Next Review right

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Book(s) Reviewed

Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: Endowments and Institutions by Stanley L. Engerman and Kenneth L. Sokoloff

Published By: With contributions by Stephen Haber, Elisa V. Mariscal, and Eric M. Zolt. National Bureau of Economic Research Series on Long-Term Factors in Economic Development. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 978-1-107-00955-4, cloth; 978-0-521-25137-2, pbk.
Date of Publication: 2012


Book Review Detail

Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Williamson of Harvard University and University of Wisconsin
Review DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.3.791.r9
Review Pages: 809-18

Book Review Abstract

Jeffrey G. Williamson of Harvard University and University of Wisconsin reviews "Economic Development in the Americas since 1500: Endowments and Institutions" by Stanley L. Engerman and Kenneth L. Sokoloff. The EconLit abstract of the reviewed work begins: Eleven papers explore differences in the rates of economic growth in Latin America and mainland North America, specifically the United States and Canada, and consider how relative differences in growth over time are related to differences in the institutions that developed in different economies. Papers discuss paths of development—an overview; factor endowments and institutions; the role of institutions in shaping factor endowments; the evolution of suffrage institutions; the evolution of schooling—1800–1925; inequality and the evolution of taxation; land and immigration policies; politics and banking systems; five hundred years of European colonization; institutional and noninstitutional explanations of economic development; and institutions in political and economic development. Engerman is John H. Munro Professor of Economics and Professor of History at the University of Rochester. The late Sokoloff was Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Bibliography; index.


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Book Review Authors

Jeffrey G. Williamson of Harvard University and University of Wisconsin


JEL Classifications

D03: Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
N10: General, International, or Comparative
N40: General, International, or Comparative
O43: Institutions and Growth


Journal of Economic Literature


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