"Knowledge and understanding of cave and karst systems have evolved dramatically since the creation of the Geological Society of America in 1888. This book, which came out of a session during GSA's 2013 Annual Meeting, highlights the changes in the study and application of cave and karst systems since GSA's origin, while looking ahead to future advancements"--
Empirical studies of the impact of geography and institutions on growth and development at the international level have become common place, but the high degree of abstraction at that level has led to calls for subnational studies. This paper examines these issues for a region of the United States, Appalachia, where the specific factors at play are identified and measured thus obviating the need for instrumental variable techniques. The evidence suggests that initial conditions, including both geography and institutions, are very important for economic development, having significant effects lasting hundreds of years.