Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Initial institutions, institutional persistence, and the promotion of economic development by the original 13 states
by Jensen, Jeffrey L., Ph.D., New York University, 2010, 115; 3428040
Abstract (Summary)

In the comparative political economy literature, recent work has focused on the exogenous determinants of the initial political institutions that nations or colonies adopted in order to test the effects of institutions on differences across countries in income today. In this literature, the US is usually used as one case, and one in which its initial federal-level political institutions have been offered as a reason for the US’ relatively high incomes. Yet, using the US states as a comparative dataset allows for the examination of the effect of institutions on economic development more systematically while minimizing the effects of unobserved heterogeneity (e.g. cultural differences, colonial heritage, religion). I develop a simple model in which two time-invariant exogenous factors explain the initial basis of apportionment in the state legislature adopted by each state. Since these factors are exogenous, we have more confidence that the empirical effects captured are those of institutions and not an omitted variable. The initial basis of apportionment, as captured by my institutional variable and which I argue is a good measure of variation across states in political inequality, is strongly correlated with state-level policies commonly associated with economic growth.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mesquita, Bruce Bueno de
Commitee: Cohen, Yousef, Downs, George, Rosenthal, Howard, Smith, Alastair
School: New York University
Department: Politics
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economic history, Political science
Keywords: Comparative political economy, Early Republic, Economic development, Institutional persistence, Institutions
Publication Number: 3428040
ISBN: 978-1-124-33280-2
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