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Essay Question Geography vs. institutions as root causes of economic growth and development

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The third and final theme is a bit more complex than the previous two themes in that it holds that human conditions are influenced by physical geography not directly but indirectly through institutions (governance). Dstinction has been clearly established between the effects from institutions and physical geography. Fr instance, 1 hold that geography comprises “forces of nature” whereas institutions (governance) are all about “man-made” factors. Dspite minority of people associating human conditions entirely to either institutions (governance) or geography, cntemporarily and historically, tere exist divided opinion as to which institutional or geographical- play a prime role in determining development of a society, anation in this case.

“eographers” argue that geographical factors play a significant role more than institutional factors whereas “institutionalists” argue that institutional factors have a superior role in shaping development of nations across the globe. Te tenets for each side are discussed in the following paragraphs under the themes identified above. Gographers had a considerable stake in developing the early environmentalism determinism version courtesy of respectable individuals such as Frankel and Romer, Boom and Sachs, Damond Gallup et al.

(uer 2012: 2. Tey hold that geographical factors such as climate, lcation, tpography directly influence labour productivity, dsease prevalence and society prosperity hence the stand that social development result from the physical environment. I argues that countries locate in cool environment (northern latitudes) are comparatively more developed than countries in hot environment (around the tropics). Ater the 1930s, tis view lost its credibility and appeal because of ignoring contrary evidence, rliance on anecdotal evidence and loose correlations and ethnocentric grading of the environment. Hwever, i was revived.

I the final years of the 20th century, sme development economists, i attempts to explain the divergent global patterns of economic growth, eonomic development differences among countries were again linked to geographical conditions. Fr example, Schs and Bloom and Sachs (cited in Easterly & Levine 2002: 5 stipulate that the tropical location of Africa largely hinders its development through eight mechanisms namely unstable supply...

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