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Handbook of Economic Growth by Steven Durlauf, Philippe Aghion

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Chapter 3

Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development

Enrico Spolaore* and Romain Wacziarg,    *Department of Economics, Tufts University, NBER, CESIfo and CAGE, Medford, MA, 02155-6722, USA,    UCLA Anderson School of Management, NBER and CEPR, 110 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, 90024, USA,    enrico.spolaore@tufts.edu, wacziarg@ucla.edu

Abstract

What obstacles prevent the most productive technologies from spreading to less developed economies from the world’s technological frontier? In this paper, we seek to shed light on this question by quantifying the geographic and human barriers to the transmission of technologies. We argue that the intergenerational transmission of human traits, particularly culturally transmitted traits, has led ...

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