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The Evolution of a NationHow Geography and Law Shaped the American States$
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Daniel Berkowitz and Karen B. Clay

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691136042

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691136042.001.0001

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Institutions and Outcomes

Institutions and Outcomes

(p.192) Chapter 7 Institutions and Outcomes
The Evolution of a Nation

Daniel Berkowitz

Karen B. Clay

Princeton University Press

This chapter summarizes this volume's main findings with respect to persistence and mechanisms, examines the effect of state political and legal institutions on per capita income, and discusses important areas for future research. The overall focus on state per capita income is important here, because it represents an important measure of total economic activity in a society. Courts and legislatures may have other objectives, but arguably one of their functions is to maximize the size of the societal pie by offering incentives for economic activity. Moreover, the chapter argues that a better understanding of how and why institutions are persistent can inform efforts at change.

Keywords:   state institutions, political institutions, legal institutions, future research, state per capita income, economic activity, state courts, state legislatures

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