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The Empirical Institutions of Growth
Episode 813th July 2022 • EconRoots • Stefan Kierkegaard Sløk-Madsen
00:00:00 01:04:20

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Why do some countries experience growth, while others don’t? The answer is that countries are not ordered in the same way, or as an economist would say; their institutional arrangements differ, and that leads to different outcomes. This in not just a theoretical point, it is in fact highly empirically observable. In today’s episode we will meet three laurates that made just such observations; Simon Smith Kuznets who are not just famous for two curves, but also for spearheading the creation of essential empirical data, such a national income accounts. Theodore Schultz, an agricultural economist who showed why human capital matters, and finally Douglas North. The first historian to win the price, and a person that teaches us to take time seriously.


Kuznets, S.S. (1971), Price Lecture, [lecture transcript]. Retrieved  

Kuznets, S.S. (1971). Banquet speech [Speech transcript]. Retrieved from:

Schultz, T. (1979), Price Lecture, [lecture transcript]. Retrieved

Schultz, T. (1979). Banquet speech [Speech transcript] Retrieved from:

North, D.C. (1993), Price Lecture, [lecture transcript]. Retrieved

North, D.C. (1993) Banquet speech [Speech transcript]. Retrieved   

North D. (1991) Institutions; Journal of Economic Perspectives. Vol. 5, No. 1 (Winter, 1991), pp. 97-112. 

North, D.C. (1993), Interview. Retrieved from: