There is a well-known debate about the respective roles of geography versus institutions in explaining the long-term development of countries. These debates have usually been based on cross-country regressions where questions about parameter heterogeneity, unobserved heterogeneity, and endogeneity cannot easily be controlled for. The innovation of Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2001) was to address this last point by using settler mortality as an instrument for endogenous institutions and found that this supported their line of reasoning. We believe there is value-added to consider this debate at the micro level within a country as particularly questions of parameter heterogeneity and unobserved heterogeneity are likely to be smaller than between countries. Hence, we examine the determinants of economic development across villages on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi and find technology adoption to play a crucial role. We show that geography-induced migration together with population size foster through their effect on institutions technology adoption.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Indonesia, agricultural development, geography, land rights, migration, technology adoption
JEL Property Law (jel K11), Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development (jel O12), Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets (jel Q12)
Publisher International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)
Persistent URL
Series ISS Working Papers - General Series
Journal ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
Grimm, M, & Klasen, S. (2007). Geography vs. Institutions at the Village Level. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 449, pp. 1–26). International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS). Retrieved from