June, 2017

States and Economic Growth

Capacity and Constraints
  • Noel D. Johnson

    Senior Research Fellow
  • Mark Koyama

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics
read more

Find the article at Science Direct.

State capacity has become one of the most discussed concepts in development economics and political economy. In this survey we argue that the study of economic history provides vital insights into the process through which modern states have acquired 'state capacity'. By evaluating the process of state building across a range of different countries in Europe and Asia, we are able to 'decompress' the relationship between state capacity and economic growth. Our analysis emphasizes the variegated nature of the state building process. We focus on recent research that helps to elucidate the mechanisms that relate state capacity to economic growth.