Colonialism and Modern Income: Islands as Natural Experiments
AbstractUsing a new database of islands throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans we find a robust positive relationship between the number of years spent as a European colony and current GDP per capita. We argue that the nature of discovery and colonization of islands provides random variation in the length and type of colonial experience. We instrument for length of colonization using variation in prevailing wind patterns. We argue that wind speed and direction had a significant effect on historical colonial rule but do not have a direct effect on GDP today. The data also suggest that years as a colony after 1700 are more beneficial than earlier years. We also find a discernable pecking order among the colonial powers, with years under U.S., British, French, and Dutch rule having more beneficial effects than Spanish or Portuguese rule. Our finding of a strong connection between modern income and years of colonization is conditional on being colonized at all since each of the islands in our data set spent some time under colonial rule. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.
Volume (Year): 91 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/
Other versions of this item:
- James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "Colonialism and Modern Income -- Islands as Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 12546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O4 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
- O40 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statistics
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.