AbstractIn this paper I identify fractionalization as a consequence rather than solely a cause of poor institutions. I investigate how heterogeneous agents in precolonial Africa relied on social distance-reducing signals to make trade with one another possible. I then show how colonial institutions created noise in these signals, inhibiting widespread cooperation. By stifling trade between diverse agents, colonial institutions contributed to Africa s poor economic growth.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Institutional Economics.
Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
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