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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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References

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  1. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  5. 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.
  6. Bourguignon, Francois & Morrisson, Christian, 1998. "Inequality and development: the role of dualism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 233-257.
  7. 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.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
  10. Ahluwalia, Montek S., 1976. "Inequality, poverty and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-342, December.
  11. Oded_Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2004. "Trading Population for Productivity," Working Papers 2004-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  12. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "Inequality and development A critique," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 19-43, June.
  13. Grier, Robin M, 1999. " Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 317-35, March.
  14. Stanley L Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economics," NBER Working Papers 9259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Dobado González, Rafael & García Montero, Héctor, 2010. "Colonial Origins of Inequality in Hispanic America? Some Reflections Based on New Empirical Evidence," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 253-277, September.
  3. Angeles, Luis & Neanidis, Kyriakos C., 2009. "Aid effectiveness: the role of the local elite," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 120-134, September.
  4. 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.
  5. Luis Angeles, 2011. "Institutions, Property Rights, and Economic Development in Historical Perspective," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 157-177, 05.
  6. Luis Angeles, . "On the causes of the African Slave Trade," Working Papers 2012_15, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  7. Luis Angeles, 2009. "Colonialism, European descendants and democracy," Working Papers 2009_33, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  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. Antonio Andres & Carlyn Ramlogan-Dobson, 2011. "Is Corruption Really Bad for Inequality? Evidence from Latin America," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(7), pages 959-976.
  10. 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.

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