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How do culture and institutions help to explain development and divergence in a globalising world?

How do culture and institutions help to explain development and divergence in a globalising world?

with Sharun Mukand

Theme 2 explores the roots of underdevelopment, and explains the failure of governments to adopt “appropriate” institutions, by analysing the relative importance of cultural traits, behavioral norms, and the institutions that already exist.

More specifically research in this theme examines the following questions:

  • How does history affect worker productivity and incomes today? Is it through inherited political institutions or is it through the persistence of culture?

  • What is the role of “ideas” and “interests” in shaping policymaking for development?

  • What are the key factors that help catalyse successful nation building and sustainable economic development?

  • In the face of rising inequality, what elements will help ensure “smart” globalisation that not only promises economic growth, but is also politically sustainable?

These issues are explored in a variety of contexts, from Asia, Africa and Latin America to historical accounts of development in Europe using a wide range of methodological tools, from field experiments, structural analysis, and theoretical modeling, to analytical narratives based on historical case studies.