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Unbundling Ex-Colonies: A Comment on Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson, 2001

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  • Olsson, Ola

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

In this comment on AJR (2001), we argue that a bundling of all former colonies into one ‘colonial’ theory of comparative development is problematic for several reasons. During the mercantilist wave of mainly Latin American colonization between 1500-1830, strong capitalist institutions were largely non-existent in the Western world. During the scrable for Africa, starting in 1885, good institutions were an option, but the disease environment had then drastically changed. We show that when AJR’s sample of 64 former colonies is disaggregated into a Latin American, an African, and an Asian/Neo-European subsample, the proposed relationship between settler mortality and institutions is weak or rejected for Latin America and Africa.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2771
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 146.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 29 Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0146

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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Keywords: geography; institutions; development;

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  1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  3. Graziella Bertocchi & Fabio Canova, 1996. "Did colonization matter for growth? An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," Economics Working Papers 202, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Yunyong Thaicharoen, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," NBER Working Papers 9124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
  7. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. David Y. Albouy, 2008. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Investigation of the Settler Mortality Data," NBER Working Papers 14130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Zivot, E & Startz, R & Nelson, C-R, 1997. "Valid Confidence Intervals and Inference in the Presence of Weak Instruments," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 97-17, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  10. 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, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
  11. Grier, Robin M, 1999. " Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 317-35, March.
  12. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Rockey, James, 2012. "Reconsidering the fiscal effects of constitutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 313-323.

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