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The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa

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  • Stelios Michalopoulos
  • Elias Papaioannou

Abstract

We examine the long-run consequences of a neglected aspect of colonization, the artificial drawing of borders during the Scramble for Africa and uncover the following empirical regularities. First, apart from the land mass and water area, no other pre-colonial trait predicts a group’s partitioning. Second, using georeferenced data on conflict we show that battles, violence against civilians and territorial changes are concentrated in the historical homeland of partitioned ethnicities. Third, we show that individuals identifying with split groups are on average poorer and less educated. The uncovered evidence brings in the foreground the violent repercussions of ethnic partitioning.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17620.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17620

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  1. Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "Direct versus Indirect Colonial Rule in India: Long-Term Consequences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 693-713, November.
  2. Bosker, Maarten & de Ree, Joppe, 2010. "Ethnicity and the spread of civil war," CEPR Discussion Papers 8055, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto F & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1872-1911, August.
  5. Elise Huillery, 2009. "History Matters: The Long Term Impact of Colonial Public Investments in French West Africa," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10262, Sciences Po.
  6. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
  7. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe & Valmori, Simona, 2011. "Disease Environment and Civil Conflicts," IZA Discussion Papers 5614, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro & Frank Windmeijer, 2010. "Is it different for zeros? Discriminating between models for non-negative data with many zeros," CeMMAP working papers CWP20/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
  11. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2012. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1508-39, June.
  12. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke & Soderbom, Mans, 2001. "On the duration of civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2681, The World Bank.
  13. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," NBER Working Papers 17184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Fenske, James, 2009. "Does Land Abundance Explain African Institutions?," Working Papers 74, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  15. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
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