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Finding Eldorado: Slavery and Long-run Development in Colombia

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Camilo García-Jimeno
  • James A. Robinson

Abstract

Slavery has been a major institution of labor coercion throughout history. Colonial societies used slavery intensively across the Americas, and slavery remained prevalent in most countries after independence from the European powers. We investigate the impact of slavery on long-run development in Colombia. Our identification strategy compares municipalities that had gold mines during the 17th and 18th centuries to neighboring municipalities without gold mines. Gold mining was a major source of demand for slave labor during colonial times, and all colonial gold mines are now depleted. We find that the historical presence of slavery is associated with increased poverty and reduced school enrollment, vaccination coverage and public good provision. We also find that slavery is associated with higher contemporary land inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18177.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Publication status: published as Acemoglu, Daron & García-Jimeno, Camilo & Robinson, James A., 2012. "Finding Eldorado: Slavery and long-run development in Colombia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 534-564.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18177

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References

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  1. Guy Michaels, 2011. "The Long Term Consequences of Resource‐Based Specialisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 31-57, March.
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  4. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
  5. Summerhill, William, 2010. "Colonial Institutions, Slavery, Inequality, and Development: Evidence from São Paulo, Brazil," MPRA Paper 22162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. All that Glitters Is Not Gold: Gold Mines, Slavery, and Development in Colombia
    by Marc F. Bellemare in Marc F. Bellemare on 2012-06-26 09:00:30

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Economic History > Regional Economic History > Latin American Economic History > Economic History of Colombia
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Cited by:
  1. Daron Acemoglu & Francisco Gallego & James A. Robinson, 2014. "Institutions, Human Capital and Development," Documentos de Trabajo, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 449, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  2. Breinlich, Holger & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2014. "Regional Growth and Regional Decline," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 683-779 Elsevier.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Camilo García-Jimeno & James A. Robinson, 2014. "State Capacity and Economic Development: A Network Approach," NBER Working Papers 19813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00795231 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Andrea Tesei & Paolo Pinotti & Ruben Durante, 2013. "Voting Alone? The Political and Cultural Consequences of Commercial TV," Sciences Po publications 2013-10, Sciences Po.
  6. Grosfeld, Irena & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2013. "Persistent effects of empires: Evidence from the partitions of Poland," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1311, CEPREMAP.
  7. Maloney, William F. & Caicedo, Felipe Valencia, 2012. "The persistence of (subnational) fortune : geography, agglomeration, and institutions in the new world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6187, The World Bank.
  8. Renato Colistete & Maria Lucia Lamounier, 2014. "Land Inequality in a Coffee Economy: São Paulo During the Early Twentieth Century," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2014_01, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  9. María Alejandra Arias & Ana María Ibáñez & Andrés Zambrano, 2014. "Agricultural Production Amid Conflict: The Effects of Shocks, Uncertainty, and Governance of Non-State Armed Actors," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011005, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  10. Rafael José Santos, 2014. "Not all that Glitters Is Gold: Gold Boom, Child Labor and Schooling in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 012060, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

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