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Did Colonization Matter for Growth? An Empirical Exploration into the Historical Causes of Africa's Underdevelopment

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  • Bertocchi, Graziella
  • Canova, Fabio

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of twentieth-century European colonization on African countries. We find that colonization mattered for growth. The following had some beneficial growth effects: being a dependency rather than a colony; being a colony of France or the United Kingdom rather than Belgium, Italy or Portugal; and being less exploited. On average, growth accelerates after independence. Variables proxying for colonial heritage add explanatory power to standard growth regressions, while indicators for human capital and political and ethnic instability lose significance. The coefficient of a dummy for sub-Saharan Africa becomes less significant in a cross section of 98 countries after controlling for colonial experience.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1444.

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Date of creation: Sep 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1444

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Keywords: Africa; Colonization; Growth;

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  13. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
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  16. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  17. Grier, Robin M, 1999. " Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 317-35, March.
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