The European Origins of Economic Development
AbstractA large literature suggests that European settlement outside of Europe shaped institutional, educational, technological, cultural, and economic outcomes. This literature has had a serious gap: no direct measure of colonial European settlement. In this paper, we (1) construct a new database on the European share of the population during the early stages of colonization and (2) examine its impact on the level of economic development today. We find a remarkably strong impact of colonial European settlement on development. According to one illustrative exercise, 47 percent of average global development levels today are attributable to Europeans. One of our most surprising findings is the positive effect of even a small minority European population during the colonial period on per capita income today, contradicting traditional and recent views. There is some evidence for an institutional channel, but our findings are most consistent with human capital playing a central role in the way that colonial European settlement affects development today.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18162.
Date of creation: Jun 2012
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- N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
- O4 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- European colonisation: good or bad?
by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-07-10 16:30:07
- European colonization was the root to present economic development
by Inaki Villanueva in Applied economist on 2012-08-14 19:27:00
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