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Income inequality and colonialism

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  • Angeles, Luis

Abstract

This paper proposes that Colonialism is a major explanation behind today’s differences in Income Inequality among countries. We argue that colonies that received an important number of European settlers were characterized by a concentration of economic and political power in the hands of these last ones. Moreover, European settlers later achieved independence from the metropolis and were able to prolong the status quo. Colonies where Europeans were much less present did not develop such strong inequality. The empirical evidence we provide strongly supports our thesis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 51 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
Pages: 1155-1176

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:51:y:2007:i:5:p:1155-1176

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  2. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
  3. Ahluwalia, Montek S., 1976. "Inequality, poverty and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-342, December.
  4. Bourguignon, Francois & Morrisson, Christian, 1998. "Inequality and development: the role of dualism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 233-257.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  6. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  7. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  8. Oded_Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2004. "Trading Population for Productivity," Working Papers 2004-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  9. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  10. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  11. George Clarke & Lixin Colin Xu & Heng-fu Zou, 2003. "Finance and Income Inequality: Test of Alternative Theories," CEMA Working Papers 493, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  12. Grier, Robin M, 1999. " Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 317-35, March.
  13. Bertocchi, Graziella & Canova, Fabio, 1996. "Did Colonization Matter for Growth? An Empirical Exploration into the Historical Causes of Africa's Underdevelopment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1444, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth Lee Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development among New World Economies," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  15. Matthew Higgins & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1999. "Explaining Inequality the World Round: Cohort Size, Kuznets Curves, andOpenness," NBER Working Papers 7224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "Inequality and development A critique," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 19-43, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Dobado González, Rafael / R & García Montero, Héctor / H, 2010. "Colonial Origins of Inequality in Hispanic America? Some reflections based on new empirical evidence," MPRA Paper 28738, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Roe, Mark J. & Siegel, Jordan I., 2011. "Political instability: Effects on financial development, roots in the severity of economic inequality," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 279-309, September.
  3. Luis Angeles, . "On the causes of the African Slave Trade," Working Papers 2012_15, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  4. Carlyn Dobson & Antonio Rodríguez, 2010. "Is Corruption Really Bad for Inequality? Evidence from Latin America," Development Research Working Paper Series 02/2010, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
  5. Antonio Rodriguez & Carlyn Ramlogan, 2007. "Corruption, privatisation and the distribution of income in Latin America," Development Research Working Paper Series 09/2007, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
  6. Luis Angeles & Kyriakos C. Neanidis, 2006. "Aid Effectiveness: The Role of the Local Elite," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0633, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  7. Arusha Cooray (University of Wollongong), . "Does Colonialism Exert a Long Term Economic Impact on Adult Literacy?," QEH Working Papers qehwps176, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  8. Angeles, Luis, 2012. "Is there a role for genetics in economic development?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-08, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  9. Angeles, Luis, 2009. "Colonialism, European Descendants and Democracy," SIRE Discussion Papers 2009-50, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  10. Luis Angeles, 2011. "Institutions, Property Rights, and Economic Development in Historical Perspective," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 157-177, 05.

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