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On the Institutional Legacy of Mercantilist and Imperialist Colonialism

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Author Info

  • Olsson, Ola

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

Abstract

The article features a temporal approach to modelling the social impact of Western colonialism. We collect a data set for all former colonies and dependencies that are regarded as countries today (143 observations). Our data, as well as existing theory, suggest that the very heterogeneous era of colonization might be divided into an early ’mercantilist’ wave and a much later ’imperialist’ wave with quite different characteristics. We demonstrate that a commonly used determinant of institutional quality - colonial settler mortality - had a much weaker effect on institutional outcomes during the imperialist scramble for Africa. When we broaden the analysis, it is shown that the positive effect of colonial duration on democracy is strongest among countries colonized during the imperialist era. Controlling for colonial duration, our results further indicate that a long history of statehood is bad for democracy while there is almost no effect of the national identity of the colonizer.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/3135
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 247.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 09 Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0247

Contact details of provider:
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: colonialism; democracy; institutions; development; settler mortality;

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References

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  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  13. Gregory N. Price, 2003. "Economic Growth in a Cross-section of Nonindustrial Countries: Does Colonial Heritage Matter for Africa?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 478-495, 08.
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  15. Dani Rodrik, 2000. "Institutions for High-Quality Growth: What They are and How to Acquire Them," NBER Working Papers 7540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Grier, Robin M, 1999. " Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 317-35, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Bleaney & Arcangelo Dimico, . "Geography Matters: Reconsidering the Effect of Geography on Development," Discussion Papers 08/14, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  2. Philipp Kolo, 2011. "Questioning Ethnic Fragmentation's Exogeneity - Drivers of Changing Ethnic Boundaries," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 210, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.

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