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World Politics Exam One

Terms in this set (30)

1) Geography Hypothesis: Because poor and wealthy countries tend to be clustered together, there must be something about geography that matters. Suggests that poor countries tend to be in warmer climates where disease rates are higher and soil quality is poorer. Meanwhile, more temperate climates tend to have lower disease burdens and better soil. WNF argues that this does not explain why some regions that are right next each other have differing economic success. Also does not explain variation in the same countries over time. Also cannot rule out that its is poverty that causes disease and not the other way around.
2) Culture Hypothesis: This hypothesis suggests that some countries have differing work ethics, and thoughts about saving in investment that cause differences in the economic prosperity. Some cultures value spending, leisure, or family more than they do working. Also highlights the Protestant Ethic which states that some cultures are just fatalistic about the world thinking things are meant to be the way they are while Protestant countries tend to believe that God wants people to work and that there is nothing wrong with being rich. Supporters point to the fact that countries with the Protestant ethic are where capitalism first arose. Some also claim that it is religion that distracts people from making money, countries that are most religious tend to have lower income per capita. WNF argues this hypothesis cannot explain cultural change over time. Also cannot explain the variation among societies that share the same cultural background. Also cannot rule out that poverty itself is the cause of culture.
3) Ignorance Hypothesis: Argues that in poor countries, leaders have simply not figured out how to correct market failure and have taken the bad advice of experts that has led them astray. WNF argues that leaders know what works but simply choose to knowingly make the wrong decisions. Oftentimes, what makes economic sense does not make political sense. Politicians tend to choose to help themselves politically over helping the country economically.