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Borders that Divide: Education and Religion in Ghana and Togo since Colonial Times

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  • Denis Cogneau
  • Alexander Moradi

Abstract

When European powers partitioned Africa, individuals of otherwise homogeneous communities were divided and found themselves randomly assigned to one coloniser. This provides for a natural experiment: applying a border discontinuity analysis to Ghana and Togo, we test what impact coloniser’s policies really made. Using a new data set of men recruited to the Ghana colonial army 1908-1955, we find literacy and religious beliefs to diverge between British and French mandated part of Togoland as early as in the 1920s. We attribute this to the different policies towards missionary schools. The British administration pursued a ”grant-in-aid” policy of missionary schools, whereas the French restricted missionary activities. The divergence is only visible in the Southern part. In the North, as well as at the border between Ghana and Burkina Faso (former French Upper Volta), educational and evangelization efforts were weak on both sides and hence, did not produce any marked differences. Using contemporary survey data we find that border effects originated at colonial times still persist today.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2011-21.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2011-21

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Keywords: Economic History; Africa; Colonization; Education;

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  1. World Bank, 2011. "World Development Indicators 2011," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2315, August.
  2. Graziella Bertocchi & Fabio Canova, 1996. "Did colonization matter for growth? An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 202, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Francisco A. Gallego & Robert Woodberry, 2010. "Christian Missionaries and Education in Former African Colonies: How Competition Mattered," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 19(3), pages 294-329, June.
  4. Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Biological Measures of the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 129-152, Winter.
  5. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," Economics Working Papers, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science 0099, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  6. Cogneau, Denis & Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine & Spielvogel, Gilles, 2010. "Development at the border: a study of national integration in post-colonial West Africa," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University 123456789/4965, Paris Dauphine University.
  7. Moradi, Alexander, 2009. "Towards an Objective Account of Nutrition and Health in Colonial Kenya: A Study of Stature in African Army Recruits and Civilians, 1880–1980," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(03), pages 719-754, September.
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  12. Cogneau, Denis, 2003. "Colonisation, School and Development in Africa. An empirical analysis," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University 123456789/4563, Paris Dauphine University.
  13. Alexander Moradi, 2008. "Confronting colonial legacies-lessons from human development in Ghana and Kenya, 1880-2000," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 1107-1121.
  14. Gareth Austin, 2008. "The 'reversal of fortune' thesis and the compression of history: Perspectives from African and comparative economic history," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 996-1027.
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Cited by:
  1. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2011. "Human development in Africa : a long-run perspective," Working Papers in Economic History, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones wp11-09, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
  2. Julia Cagé & Valeria Rueda, 2013. "The long Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub Saharan Africa," PSE Working Papers, HAL halshs-00844446, HAL.
  3. Jerven , Morten & Austin , Gareth & Green, Erik & Uche , Chibuike & Frankema , Ewout & Fourie , Johan & Inikori , Joseph & Moradi , Alexander & Hillbom , Ellen, 2012. "Moving Forward in African Economic History: Bridging the Gap Between Methods and Sources," African Economic History Working Paper, African Economic History Network 1/2012, African Economic History Network.
  4. Martin Gustafsson & Stephen Taylor, 2013. "Treating schools to a new administration. The impact of South Africa’s 2005 provincial boundary changes on school performance," Working Papers 28/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  5. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00844446 is not listed on IDEAS

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