WorldCat Identities

Nunn, Nathan

Works: 36 works in 206 publications in 2 languages and 1,566 library holdings
Genres: History 
Roles: Author, Editor
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Nathan Nunn
Africa's development in historical perspective( Book )

8 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 237 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This edited volume addresses the root causes of Africa's persistent poverty through an investigation of its longue duree history
Putting the lid on lobbying : tariff structure and long-term growth when protection is for sale by Nathan Nunn( Book )

9 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 28 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

It has long been recognized that a country's tariffs are the endogenous outcome of a rent-seeking game whose equilibrium reflects national institutions. Thus, the structure of tariffs across industries provides insights into how institutions, as reflected in tariff policies, affect long-term growth. We start with the commonplace perception among politicians that protection of skill-intensive industries generates a growth-enhancing externality. Modifying the Grossman-Helpman protection for sale model to allow for this, we make two predictions. First, a country with good institutions will tolerate high average tariffs provided tariffs are biased towards skill-intensive industries. Second, there need not be any relationship between average tariffs and good institutions. Using data for 17 manufacturing industries in 59 countries over approximately 25 years, we find that average tariffs are uncorrelated with output growth and that the skill-bias of tariff structure is positively correlated with output growth. We interpret this to mean that countries grow faster if they are able and willing to put a lid on the rent-seeking behaviour of special interest lobby groups. We show that our results are not compatible with explanations that appeal to (1) externalities per se, (2) initial industrial structure that is skewed towards skill-intensive industries, or (3) the effects of broader institutions such as rule of law and control of corruption
Ruggedness : the blessing of bad geography in Africa by Nathan Nunn( Book )

12 editions published between 2007 and 2009 in English and held by 25 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

There is controversy about whether geography matters mainly because of its contemporaneous impact on economic outcomes or because of its interaction with historical events. Looking at terrain ruggedness, we are able to estimate the importance of these two channels. Because rugged terrain hinders trade and most productive activities, it has a negative direct effect on income. However, in Africa rugged terrain afforded protection to those being raided during the slave trades. Since the slave trades retarded subsequent economic development, in Africa ruggedness has also had a historical indirect positive effect on income. Studying all countries worldwide, we find that both effects are significant statistically and that for Africa the indirect positive effect dominates the direct negative effect. Looking within Africa, we also provide evidence that the indirect effect operates through the slave trades
The long-term effects of Africa's slave trades by Nathan Nunn( Book )

9 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 23 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Can part of Africa's current underdevelopment be explained by its slave trades? To explore this question, I use data from shipping records and historical documents reporting slave ethnicities to construct estimates of the number of slaves exported from each country during Africa's slave trades. I find a robust negative relationship between the number of slaves exported from a country and current economic performance. To better understand if the relationship is causal, I examine the historical evidence on selection into the slave trades, and use instrumental variables. Together the evidence suggests that the slave trades have had an adverse effect on economic development
The potato's contribution to population and urbanization : evidence from an historical experiment by Nathan Nunn( Book )

13 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 23 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We exploit regional variation in suitability for cultivating potatoes, together with time variation arising from their introduction to the Old World from the Americas, to estimate the impact of potatoes on Old World population and urbanization. Our results show that the introduction of the potato was responsible for a significant portion of the increase in population and urbanization observed during the 18th and 19th centuries
Aiding conflict : the impact of U.S. food aid on civil war by Nathan Nunn( Book )

13 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 21 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper examines the effect of U.S. food aid on conflict in recipient countries. To establish a causal relationship, we exploit time variation in food aid caused by fluctuations in U.S. wheat production together with cross-sectional variation in a country's tendency to receive any food aid from the United States. Our estimates show that an increase in U.S. food aid increases the incidence, onset and duration of civil conflicts in recipient countries. Our results suggest that the effects are larger for smaller scale civil conflicts. No effect is found on interstate warfare -- National Bureau of Economic Research web site
On the origins of gender roles : women and the plough by Alberto Alesina( Book )

16 editions published in 2011 in English and German and held by 20 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper seeks to better understand the historical origins of current differences in norms and beliefs about the appropriate role of women in society. We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural practices influenced the historical gender division of labor and the evolution and persistence of gender norms. We find that, consistent with existing hypotheses, the descendants of societies that traditionally practiced plough agriculture, today have lower rates of female participation in the workplace, in politics, and in entrepreneurial activities, as well as a greater prevalence of attitudes favoring gender inequality. We identify the causal impact of traditional plough use by exploiting variation in the historical geo-climatic suitability of the environment for growing crops that differentially benefited from the adoption of the plough. Our IV estimates, based on this variation, support the findings from OLS. To isolate the importance of cultural transmission as a mechanism, we examine female labor force participation of second-generation immigrants living within the US
The transmission of democracy : from the village to the nation-state by Paola Giuliano( Book )

13 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We provide evidence that a history of democracy at the local level is associated with contemporary democracy at the national level. Auxiliary estimates show that a tradition of local democracy is also associated with attitudes that favor democracy, with better quality institutions, and higher level of economic development
Fertility and the plough by Alberto Alesina( Book )

14 editions published in 2011 in English and German and held by 17 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The current study finds that societies which historically engaged in plough agriculture today have lower fertility. We argue, and provide ethnographic evidence, that the finding is explained by the fact that with plough agriculture, children, like women, are relatively less useful in the field. The plough requires strength and eliminates the need for weeding, a task particularly suitable for women and children. This in turn generates a preference for fewer children, lowering fertility
The slave trade and the origins of mistrust in Africa by Nathan Nunn( Book )

9 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 16 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"We investigate the historical origins of mistrust within Africa. Combining contemporary household survey data with historic data on slave shipments, we show that individuals whose ancestors were heavily raided during the slave trade today exhibit less trust in neighbors, relatives, and their local government. We confirm that the relationship is causal by using the historic distance from the coast of a respondent's ancestors as an instrument for the intensity of the slave trade, while controlling for the individual's current distance from the coast. We undertake a number of falsification tests, all of which suggest that the necessary exclusion restriction is satisfied. Exploiting variation among individuals who live in locations different from their ancestors, we show that most of the impact of the slave trade works through factors that are internal to the individual, such as cultural norms, beliefs, and values."--1st unnumbered leaf
The importance of history for economic development by Nathan Nunn( Book )

8 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 14 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This article provides a survey of a growing body of empirical evidence that points towards the important long-term effects that historic events can have on current economic development. The most recent studies, using micro-level data and more sophisticated identification techniques, have moved beyond testing whether history matters, and attempt to identify exactly why history matters. The most commonly examined channels include: institutions, culture, knowledge and technology, and movements between multiple equilibria. The article concludes with a discussion of the questions that remain and the direct of current research in the literature
Culture and the historical process by Nathan Nunn( Book )

7 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 12 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This article discusses the importance of accounting for cultural values and beliefs when studying the process of historical economic development. A notion of culture as heuristics or rules-of-thumb that aid in decision making is described. Because cultural traits evolve based upon relative fitness, historical shocks can have persistent impacts if they alter the costs and benefits of different traits. A number of empirical studies confirm that culture is an important mechanism that helps explain why historical shocks can have persistent impacts; these are reviewed here. As an example, I discuss the colonial origins hypothesis (Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson, 2001), and show that our understanding of the transplantation of European legal and political institutions during the colonial period remains incomplete unless the values and beliefs brought by European settlers are taken into account. It is these cultural beliefs that formed the foundation of the initial institutions that in turn were key for long-term economic development
The determinants of food aid provisions to Africa and the developing world by Nathan Nunn( Book )

7 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 9 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We examine the supply-side and demand-side determinants of global bilateral food aid shipments between 1971 and 2008. First, we find that domestic food production in developing countries is negatively correlated with subsequent food aid receipts, suggesting that food aid receipt is partly driven by local food shortages. Interestingly, food aid from some of the largest donors is the least responsive to production shocks in recipient countries. Second, we show that U.S. food aid is partly driven by domestic production surpluses, whereas former colonial ties are an important determinant for European countries. Third, amongst recipients, former colonial ties are especially important for African countries. Finally, aid flows to countries with former colonial ties are less responsive to recipient production, especially for African countries
Domestic institutions as a source of comparative advantage by Nathan Nunn( Book )

5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 9 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Domestic institutions can have profound effects on international trade. This chapter reviews the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of this insight. Particular attention is paid to contracting institutions and to comparative advantage, where the bulk of the research has been concentrated -- National Bureau of Economic Research web site
The Economics of Fair Trade by Raluca E Dragusanu( Book )

5 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 7 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Fair Trade is a labeling initiative aimed at improving the lives of the poor in developing countries by offering better terms to producers and helping them to organize. In this survey, we provide a critical overview of the economic theory behind Fair Trade, describing the potential benefits and potential pitfalls. We also provide an assessment of the empirical evidence of the impacts of Fair Trade to date
Migrants and the making of America : the short and long run effects of immigration during the age of mass migration by Sandra Sequeira( Book )

5 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We study the effects of European immigration to the United States during the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1920) on economic prosperity today. We exploit variation in the extent of immigration across counties arising from the interaction of fluctuations in aggregate immigrant flows and the gradual expansion of the railway network across the United States. We find that locations with more historical immigration today have higher incomes, less poverty, less unemployment, higher rates of urbanization, and greater educational attainment. The long-run effects appear to arise from the persistence of sizeable short-run benefits, including greater industrialization, increased agricultural productivity, and more innovation
Winter is coming : the long-run effects of climate change on conflict, 1400-1900 by Murat Iyigun( Book )

6 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

We investigate the long-run effects of cooling on conflict. We construct a geo-referenced and digitized database of conflicts in Europe, North Africa, and the Near East from 1400-1900, which we merge with historical temperature data. We show that cooling is associated with increased conflict. When we allow the effects of cooling over a fifty-year period to depend on the extent of cooling during the preceding period, the effect of cooling on conflict is larger in locations that experienced earlier cooling. We interpret this as evidence that the adverse effects of climate change intensify with its duration
Understanding cultural persistence and change by Paola Giuliano( Book )

5 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

When does culture persist and when does it change? We examine a determinant that has been put forth in the anthropology literature: the variability of the environment from one generation to the next. A prediction, which emerges from a class of existing models from evolutionary anthropology, is that following the customs of the previous generation is relatively more beneficial in stable environments where the culture that has evolved up to the previous generation is more likely to be relevant for the subsequent generation. We test this hypothesis by measuring the variability of average temperature across 20-year generations from 500-1900. Looking across countries, ethnic groups, and the descendants of immigrants, we find that populations with ancestors who lived in environments with more stability from one generation to the next place a greater importance in maintaining tradition today. These populations also exhibit more persistence in their traditions over time
Keeping it in the family : lineage organization and the scope of trust in sub-Saharan Africa by Jacob Moscona( )

3 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We present evidence that the traditional structure of society is an important determinant of the scope of trust today. Within Africa, individuals belonging to ethnic groups that organized society using segmentary lineages exhibit a more limited scope of trust, measured by the gap between trust in relatives and trust in non-relatives. This trust gap arises because of lower levels of trust in non-relatives and not higher levels of trust in relatives. A causal interpretation of these correlations is supported by the fact that the effects are primarily found in rural areas where these forms of organization are still prevalent
Why Being Wrong can be Right Magical Warfare Technologies and the Persistence of False Beliefs by Nathan Nunn( )

3 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Across human societies, one sees many examples of deeply rooted and widely-held beliefs that are almost certainly untrue. Examples include beliefs about witchcraft, magic, ordeals, and superstitions. Why are such incorrect beliefs so prevalent and how do they persist? We consider this question through an examination of superstitions and magic associated with conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Focusing on superstitions related to bulletproofing, we provide theory and case-study evidence showing how these incorrect beliefs persist. Although harmful at the individual-level, we show that they generate Pareto efficient outcomes that have group-level benefits
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Alternative Names
Nathan Nunn Canadees econoom

Nathan Nunn Canadian economist

English (168)

German (2)