Louis Putterman, David Weil, 14 December 2008

Inequality within countries is explained by the past history of populations more than by ethno-linguistic differences and linguistic distance. This column suggests what matters is the history of the people who live in a country today, more than the history of the country itself.

Louis Putterman, David Weil, 13 December 2008

This column introduces a five century migration matrix indicating the 1500 countries of residence of ancestors of each country’s current population. The power of regional origins is illustrated by the fact that 44% of the variance in 2000 per capita GDPs is accounted for by the share of the population’s ancestors that lived in Europe in 1500.


CEPR Policy Research