An innovative framework
Many variables have been studied that offer potential explanations for differences in economic performance patterns and livelihoods around the globe. These variables include global trade policies, macroeconomic stability, investment shares of companies, openness to trade, rule of law, religion, geographical position, environment, and infrastructure such as roads and telecommunications (see, for example, Romer 1994; Eicher and Leukert 2009; Sala-i-Martin 1997; Tamura 2006). Almost all of these factors are variables that are infl uenced by human beings over time, primarily through institutions. Institutions infl uence the way decisions are made, actions take place, and changes happen. Institutions are in turn affected by their historical origin, the actors’ cultural values, the fl ow of information, and perceptions about the future (Acemoglu et al. 2001, 2008; Nunn 2009).