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History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India

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  • Abhijit Banerjee

    ()

  • Lakshmi Iyer

    ()

Abstract

This paper analyze the colonial institutions set up by the British to collect land revenue in India, and show that differences in historical property rights institutions lead to sustained differences in economic outcomes. Areas in which proprietary rights in land were historically given to landlords have significantly lower agricultural investments, agricultural productivity and investments in public goods in the post-Independence period than areas in which these rights were given to the cultivators. It has been verified that these differences are not driven by omitted variables or endogeneity of the historical institutions, and argue that they probably arise because differences in institutions lead to very different policy choices. [Working Paper No. 003]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:2811.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2811

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Keywords: British; India; historical; landlords; agricultural; investments; independence; policy choices; history; land tenure; development;

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  1. Tirthankar Roy, 2002. "Economic History and Modern India: Redefining the Link," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 109-130, Summer.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
  3. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Rouse & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Estimating Returns to Schooling When Schooling is Misreported," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 798, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  6. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Estimating Returns to Schooling When Schooling is Misreported," NBER Working Papers 7235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. Historical Economic Geography

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