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Geographic Advantage: a Game-changer

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About this sample

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Words: 845 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Mar 25, 2024

Words: 845|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Mar 25, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraphs
  3. Conclusion (Expanded)
  4. References

Introduction

The concept of geographic luck refers to the idea that the place where a person is born and raised significantly influences their life opportunities and outcomes. This essay will delve into the various aspects of geographic luck, focusing on its implications for social mobility, economic development, and political stability. Drawing on evidence from scholarly studies, expert opinions, and real-world examples, this essay will critically examine the role of geographic luck in shaping individual and collective destinies.

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Body Paragraphs

Geographic luck plays a crucial role in determining social mobility, as the opportunities available to individuals often depend on their place of birth and residence. For instance, research by economist Raj Chetty and his colleagues (2014) found that children from low-income families in certain U.S. cities have a higher chance of upward mobility than those in other cities, due to factors such as better schools, safer neighborhoods, and stronger social networks.

The location of a country or region also influences its economic development, as some places have natural resources, favorable climates, and strategic positions that facilitate trade and growth. For example, a study by economists Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson (2001) found that countries with temperate climates and access to navigable waterways tend to have higher incomes and better institutions than those in tropical regions or landlocked areas.

Geographic luck can also affect political stability, as the physical features of a country or region can either facilitate or hinder the formation of cohesive states and the provision of public goods. For instance, research by political scientist Alberto Alesina and his colleagues (2003) found that ethnolinguistic fractionalization, which is often a result of geographic factors, is negatively correlated with political stability and the quality of governance.

The mechanisms through which geographic luck operates can be broadly categorized into three groups: natural endowments, social institutions, and cultural norms. Natural endowments refer to the physical features of a place, such as its climate, topography, and natural resources, which can either facilitate or hinder human activities. Social institutions refer to the formal and informal rules that govern a society, such as its political system, legal framework, and educational institutions, which can either promote or inhibit social mobility and economic development. Cultural norms refer to the shared beliefs and values of a society, which can either encourage or discourage innovation, cooperation, and other behaviors that contribute to success.

Geographic luck operates in various contexts, from the individual level to the national level. For instance, a study by economist Enrico Moretti (2012) found that the presence of innovative industries in a city, such as high-tech firms in Silicon Valley, can create spillover effects that benefit other industries and workers, leading to higher wages and better job opportunities for residents. At the national level, a study by economist Paul Collier (2007) found that resource-rich countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, often suffer from the "resource curse," in which the abundance of natural resources leads to economic volatility, political instability, and social conflict.

One potential counterargument is that geographic luck is not immutable, as individuals and societies can change their environment through migration, urbanization, and technological innovation. While this is true to some extent, it is important to recognize that the ability to change one's environment is often shaped by geographic luck itself, as some places offer more opportunities for migration, urbanization, and innovation than others. Moreover, the costs and benefits of changing one's environment are often unevenly distributed, with some individuals and societies bearing a disproportionate share of the burden.

Another potential counterargument is that geographic luck is not a zero-sum game, as the success of one place does not necessarily come at the expense of another. While this is true in some cases, such as when innovation in one place creates positive spillovers for other places, it is also true that geographic luck can create winners and losers, as some places benefit from their natural endowments, social institutions, and cultural norms, while others are disadvantaged by them.

Conclusion (Expanded)

In conclusion, geographic luck is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that shapes life opportunities and outcomes in profound ways. By examining the mechanisms through which geographic luck operates, and by exploring its implications for social mobility, economic development, and political stability, we gain valuable insights into the role of location in shaping individual and collective destinies. Despite potential criticisms, the concept of geographic luck remains a powerful tool for understanding the complex interplay between environment and destiny, and for promoting policies that address geographic disparities and foster fairness and equality.

References

Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., & Robinson, J. A. (2001). The colonial origins of comparative development: An empirical investigation. American Economic Review, 91(5), 1369-1401.

Alesina, A., Devleeschauwer, A., Easterly, W., Kurlat, S., & Wacziarg, R. (2003). Fractionalization. Journal of Economic Growth, 8(2), 155-194.

Chetty, R., Hendren, N., Kline, P., & Saez, E. (2014). Where is the land of opportunity? The geography of intergenerational mobility in the United States. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 129(4), 1553-1623.

Collier, P. (2007). The bottom billion: Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it. Oxford University Press.

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Moretti, E. (2012). The new geography of jobs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Geographic Advantage: A Game-Changer. (2024, March 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/geographic-advantage-a-game-changer/
“Geographic Advantage: A Game-Changer.” GradesFixer, 25 Mar. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/geographic-advantage-a-game-changer/
Geographic Advantage: A Game-Changer. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/geographic-advantage-a-game-changer/> [Accessed 20 Apr. 2024].
Geographic Advantage: A Game-Changer [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 25 [cited 2024 Apr 20]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/geographic-advantage-a-game-changer/
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