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Population Increase and the End of Colonialism

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  • Grossman, Herschel I
  • Iyigun, Murat F

Abstract

Between 1946 and 1976, the European powers granted independence to all of their large colonies in Africa and Southeast Asia. This paper attempts to provide an economic explanation for this remarkable ending to the era of colonialism. The main theoretical innovation is to consider the effect of population increase on the allocation of time by the indigenous population between productive and subversive activities. The analysis suggests that the increase in population during the colonial period increased the potential private return to subversive activity until the colonies became a net burden on the metropolitan governments. It also suggests that there was less subversive activity in colonies in which the market for indigenous labor was monopsonized because monopsonistic employers internalized the potential negative effect of subversive activity on net profits. Copyright 1997 by The London School of Economics and Political Science

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 64 (1997)
Issue (Month): 255 (August)
Pages: 483-93

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:64:y:1997:i:255:p:483-93

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Cited by:
  1. Roberto Bonfatti, 2012. "The Sustainability of Empire in Global Perspective: The Role of International Trade Patterns," CESifo Working Paper Series 3857, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. B.P. Zaaruka & J.W. Fedderke, 2011. "Indicators of Political and Economic Institutions in Tanzania: 1884 - 2008," Working Papers 231, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  3. Campante, Filipe & Do, Quoc-Anh, 2007. "Inequality, Redistribution, and Population," Working Paper Series rwp07-046, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Quoc-Anh Doy & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest : the Role of Population Concentration," Governance Working Papers 22076, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  5. Roberto Bonfatti, 2009. "Decolonization: the Role of Changing World Factor Endowments," 2009 Meeting Papers 895, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Iyigun, Murat, 2006. "Ottoman Conquests and European Ecclesiastical Pluralism," IZA Discussion Papers 1973, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Historical legacies: A model linking Africa's past to its current underdevelopment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 157-175, May.
  8. Kolmar, Martin, 2005. "The contribution of Herschel I. Grossman to political economy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 802-814, December.
  9. Quoc-Anh Do & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest: the Role of Population Concentration," Working Papers 01-2009, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  10. Iyigun, Murat, 2008. "Lessons from the Ottoman Harem (On Ethnicity, Religion and War)," IZA Discussion Papers 3556, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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