growth and institutions

Daron Acemoglu
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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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.
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How to cite this article

Acemoglu, Daron. "growth and institutions." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 16 January 2018 <> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0687

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