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Pillars of Prosperity – The Political Economics of Development Clusters - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters

Timothy Besley and Torsten Persson


“Little else is required to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.” So wrote Adam Smith a quarter of a millennium ago. Using the tools of modern political economics and combining economic theory with a bird's-eye view of the data, this book reinterprets Smith's pillars of prosperity to explain the existence of development clusters—places that tend to combine effective state institutions, the absence of political violence, and hi ... More

Keywords: political economics, economic theory, Adam Smith, prosperity, political violence, repressive government, civil conflict, tax system, justice, international conflict

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780691152684
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691152684.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Timothy Besley, author
London School of Economics

Torsten Persson, author