Why Do Some Places Generate More Wealth Than Others?

Mario Polèse

in The Wealth and Poverty of Regions

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780226673158
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226673172 | DOI:
Why Do Some Places Generate More Wealth Than Others?

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This chapter looks at the reasons that explain why some places grow and prosper compared to others. The idea that some places generate more wealth than others is similar to the idea that some people succeed in life while others do not. There are general rules for the latter—good health, having loving parents, and growing up in stimulating surroundings—but these alone do not guarantee success and happiness. Individual traits and circumstances count for just as much, if not more. No two individuals are exactly alike. Trying to explain why, within every nation, some places generate more wealth than others is inevitably a balancing act, a constant move back and forth between general laws and particular situations. In order to say anything useful about a place—why it is wealthy or poor, growing or declining—requires at least some knowledge of its past and of the geography of the nation in which it is located. Finally, the economic condition of any region is depends on its geographical location, people, and available resources.

Keywords: wealth; geography; location; economic growth

Chapter.  11954 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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