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On the democratic legacy of colonialism

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  • Olsson, Ola

Abstract

The article features a temporal approach to analyzing the impact of Western colonialism on contemporary levels of democracy. We present a new data set with dates of colonization, independence, and a colonizing event for all former colonies and dependencies that are regarded as countries today (143 observations). Our data, as well as the existing literature, suggest that the very heterogeneous era of colonization should be divided into an early 'mercantilist' wave and a much later 'imperialist' wave with quite different characteristics. We show that there is a strong positive effect of colonial duration on democracy, an effect which turns out to be driven primarily by former British colonies and by countries colonized during the imperialist era.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 534-551

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:37:y:2009:i:4:p:534-551

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

Related research

Keywords: Colonialism Democracy Mercantilist Imperialist Development;

References

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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "Colonialism and Modern Income -- Islands as Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 12546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
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  8. Congdon Fors, Heather & Olsson, Ola, 2005. "Endogenous Institutional Change After Independence," Working Papers in Economics 163, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
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  11. Nathan Nunn, 2005. "Historical Legacies: A Model Linking Africa's Past to its Current Underdevelopment," Development and Comp Systems 0508008, EconWPA.
  12. Grier, Robin M, 1999. " Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 317-35, March.
  13. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  15. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," Working Papers id:2811, eSocialSciences.
  16. Louis Putterman & David Weil, 2008. "Post-1500 Population Flows and the Long Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequity," Working Papers 2008-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  17. Lange, Matthew K., 2004. "British Colonial Legacies and Political Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 905-922, June.
  18. Gregory N. Price, 2003. "Economic Growth in a Cross-section of Nonindustrial Countries: Does Colonial Heritage Matter for Africa?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 478-495, 08.
  19. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005. "Income and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Arhan Ertan & Louis Putterman & Martin Fiszbein, 2012. "Determinants and Economic Consequences of Colonization: A Global Analysis," Working Papers 2012-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Bigsten, Arne, 2013. "Fiscal Capacity and the Quality of Government in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 92-107.
  2. Arhan Ertan & Louis Putterman & Martin Fiszbein, 2012. "Determinants and Economic Consequences of Colonization: A Global Analysis," Working Papers 2012-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Bigsten, Arne, 2011. "Fiscal capacity and government accountability in sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers in Economics 506, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  4. Martin Gassebner & Michael J. Lamla & James Raymond Vreeland, 2009. "Extreme Bounds of Democracy," KOF Working papers 09-224, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  5. Pelle Ahlerup & Ola Olsson, 2012. "The roots of ethnic diversity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 71-102, June.
  6. Olsson, Ola & Hansson, Gustav, 2011. "Country size and the rule of law: Resuscitating Montesquieu," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 613-629, June.
  7. Stephen Broadberry & Leigh Gardner, 2014. "African economic growth in a European mirror: a historical perspective," Economic History Working Papers 56493, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  8. Fenske, James, 2010. "Institutions in African history and development: A review essay," MPRA Paper 23120, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Whatley, Warren, 2012. "The transatlantic slave trade and the evolution of political authority in West Africa," MPRA Paper 44932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Buzasi, Katalin, 2012. "Does colonialism have an impact on the current language situation in Sub-Saharan Africa?," MPRA Paper 42791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Wahl, Fabian, 2012. "Why it matters what people think: Beliefs, legal origins and the deep roots of trust," FZID Discussion Papers 52-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  12. Congdon Fors, Heather, 2014. "Do island states have better institutions?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 34-60.
  13. Mendelski, Martin & Libman, Alexander, 2011. "History matters, but how? An example of Ottoman and Habsburg legacies and judicial performance in Romania," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 175, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  14. Jeanet Sinding Bentzen & Nicolai Kaarsen & Asger Moll Wingender, 2012. "Irrigation and Autocracy," Discussion Papers 12-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.

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