The Colonial Origins of Inequality: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Land Distribution
AbstractThe colonial heritage of high land inequality in Latin American countries is still, after nearly two centuries of independence, one of the crucial underpinnings of its persistent high levels of income inequality. This paper assesses the colonial strategy of land redistribution in a global comparative perspective using new and existing land inequality figures in an OLS regression framework. The two central questions addressed are 1) what explains the cross-country variation in land inequality at the end of the colonial age? 2) how does initial land inequality relate to current income inequality? The main conclusions of the paper are that geography and factor endowments play a less decisive role than often argued in literature. And second, controlling for regional fixed effects, initial land inequality explains a substantial part of the present cross-country variation in current income inequality.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen in its series GGDC Research Memorandum with number GD-81.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- E.H.P. Frankema, 2005. "The Colonial Origins of Inequality: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Land Distribution," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 119, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
- N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
- N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-09-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2006-09-11 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LTV-2006-09-11 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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