Colonial origins of comparative development
"The colonial origins of comparative development" is a famous academic article written by Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James A. Robinson and published in American Economic Review in 2001. It is considered a seminal contribution to development economics through its use of European settler mortality as an instrumental variable of institutional development in former colonies. The theory proposed in the article is that Europeans only set up growth-inducing institutions in areas where the disease environment was favourable, so that they could settle. In areas with unfavourable disease environment to Europeans, such as central Africa, they instead set up extractive institutions which persist to the present day and explain much of the variation in income across countries, it is claimed.