It has long seemed to me that the key foundation for growth and prosperity, other than the usual things like respect for property rights, limited government, low taxes, free trade, a communication, and transportation infrastructure (that is to say the usual things adduced by people like William Bernstein, author of The Birth of Plenty; David Warsh, author of Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations: A Story of Economic Discovery; John Steele Gordon, author of The Empire of Wealth; David S. Landes, author of The Wealth and Poverty of Nations; Douglas North and Robert Thomas, authors of The Rise Of The Western World; and Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven Topik, authors of The World That Trade Created: Society, Culture, And the World Economy, 1400 to the Present ), is migration and immigration.

To this end I have been reading the book Cities in Civilization, by Peter Hall, and Steven Castles', The Age of Migration. These books suggest to me many hypotheses about factors that differentiate return, such as whether companies headquartered in cities perform better than those in rural areas. They also suggest the usual tests of whether companies in low service jurisdictions perform better than those in high ones, or simply does the high rate paid to government itself affect performance, or the performance of countries' stock markets as a function of the extent and ease of immigration or tariff rates as a predictor of that country's performance.

It seems to me that eventually the power of compound interest and division of labor should dwarf all the specialized political and international relation and natural resource factors that affect companies and countries. And to this end, the highly recommended Hall book (which is described as one of the most learned books ever written by a single hand) is highly recommended. Moreover, tests similar to those mentioned are encouraged.


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