THE 2008 LAWRENCE R. KLEIN LECTURE—COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: INSIGHTS FROM UNIFIED GROWTH THEORY*

Authors

  • Oded Galor

    1. Brown University, U.S.A.
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    • 1

      The author is grateful to Charles Horioka and the members of the Institute of Social and Economic Research in Osaka University for stimulating discussions in the course of the Klein Lecture. This research agenda benefited from a joint research with Quamrul Ashraf, Omer Moav, Andrew Mountford, and David Weil, and from extensive discussions and debates on the subject with Yona Rubinstein. Boris Gershman and Oksana Leukhina provided valuable detailed comments on this article. The research was supported by NSF Grant No. SES-0921573. Please address correspondence to: Oded Galor, Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912. E-mail: Oded_Galor@brown.edu.


  • *

    Manuscript received September 2009; revised October 2009.

Abstract

This article explores the implications of Unified Growth Theory for the origins of existing differences in income per capita across countries. The theory sheds light on three fundamental layers of comparative development. It identifies the factors that have governed the pace of the transition from stagnation to growth and have thus contributed to contemporary variation in economic development. It uncovers the forces that have sparked the emergence of multiple growth regimes and convergence clubs, and it underlines the persistent effects that variations in prehistorical biogeographical conditions have generated on the composition of human capital and economic development across the globe.

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