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Understanding Long-Run African Growth: Colonial Institutions or Colonial Education?

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  • Jutta Bolt
  • Dirk Bezemer

Abstract

Long-term growth in developing countries has been explained in four frameworks: 'extractive colonial institutions' (Acemoglu et al., 2001), 'colonial legal origin' (La Porta et al., 2004), 'geography' (Gallup et al., 1998) and 'colonial human capital' (Glaeser et al., 2004). In this paper we test the 'colonial human capital' explanation for sub-Saharan Africa, controlling for legal origin and geography. Utilising data on colonial era education, we find that instrumented human capital explains long-term growth better, and shows greater stability over time, than instrumented measures for extractive institutions. We suggest that the impact of the disease environment on African long-term growth runs through a human capital channel rather than an extractive-institutions channel. The effect of education is robust to including variables capturing legal origin and geography, which have additional explanatory power.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 45 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 24-54

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:45:y:2009:i:1:p:24-54

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Cited by:
  1. Philipp Kolo, 2011. "Questioning Ethnic Fragmentation's Exogeneity - Drivers of Changing Ethnic Boundaries," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 210, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  2. James Fenske, 2012. "Land abundance and economic institutions: Egba land and slavery, 1830–1914," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 527-555, 05.
  3. Naudé, Wim, 2010. "Africa and the global economic crisis: A Risk assessment and action guide," MPRA Paper 19856, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Gnidchenko, Andrey, 2011. "Моделирование Технологических И Институциональных Эффектов В Макроэкономическом Прогнозировании
    [Technologica
    ," MPRA Paper 35484, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2011.
  5. Feger, Thuto & Asafu-Adjaye, John, 2014. "Tax effort performance in sub-Sahara Africa and the role of colonialism," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 163-174.
  6. Denis Cogneau, 2011. "Borders that Divide: Education and Religion in Ghana and Togo since Colonial Times," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2011-21, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Fenske, James, 2010. "Institutions in African history and development: A review essay," MPRA Paper 23120, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Van Leeuwen, Bas & van Leeuwen-Li, Jieli & Foldvari, Peter, 2012. "Education as a driver of income inequality in twentieth-century Africa," MPRA Paper 43574, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Bezemer, Dirk & Bolt, Jutta & Lensink, Robert, 2014. "Slavery, Statehood, and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 148-163.
  10. Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, 05.

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