Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Historical Legacies: A Model Linking Africa's Past to its Current Underdevelopment

Contents:

Author Info

  • Nathan Nunn

    (University of British Columbia)

Abstract

Recent studies have found evidence linking Africa’s current underdevelopment to colonial rule and the slave trade. Given that these events ended long ago, why do they continue to matter today? I develop a model, exhibiting path dependence, that explains how these past events could have lasting impacts. The model has multiple equilibria: one equilibrium with secure property rights and a high level of production and others with insecure property rights and low levels of production. I show that external extraction, when severe enough, causes a society initially in the high production equilibrium to move to a low production equilibrium. Because of the stability of low production equilibria, the society remains trapped in this suboptimal equilibrium even after the period of external extraction ends. The model provides one explanation why Africa’s past events continue to matter today.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/dev/papers/0508/0508008.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0508008.

as in new window
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 22 Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0508008

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 37
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  2. repec:fth:coluec:424 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Elsa V. Artadi, 2003. "The economic tragedy of the XXth century: Growth in Africa," Discussion Papers 0203-17, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
  7. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-14, May.
  8. Grossman, Herschel I., 2002. ""Make us a king": anarchy, predation, and the state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 31-46, March.
  9. Mehlum,H. & Moene,K. & Torvik,R., 2000. "Predator or prey? : parasitic enterprises in economic development," Memorandum 27/2000, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  10. Grossman, Herschel I & Iyigun, Murat F, 1997. "Population Increase and the End of Colonialism," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(255), pages 483-93, August.
  11. Andvig, Jens Chr. & Moene, Karl Ove, 1990. "How corruption may corrupt," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 63-76, January.
  12. Nathan Nunn, 2005. "Slavery, Institutional Development and Long-Run Growth in Africa," 2005 Meeting Papers 57, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Herbert Gintis, 1997. "A Markov Model of Production, Trade, and Money: Theory and Artificial Life Simulation," Research in Economics 97-01-006e, Santa Fe Institute.
  14. Findlay, R., 1989. "The Triangular Trade And The Atlantic Economy Of The Eighteenth Century: A Simple General Equilibrium Model," Discussion Papers 1989_05, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  15. Lloyd-Ellis, Huw & Marceau, Nicolas, 2003. "Endogenous insecurity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-29, October.
  16. Isaac Ehrlich & Francis T. Lui, 1999. "Bureaucratic Corruption and Endogenous Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S270-S293, December.
  17. Rowley, Charles K., 2000. "Political culture and economic performance in sub-Saharan Africa," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 133-158, March.
  18. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2000. "Rent-seeking and resource booms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 527-542, April.
  19. 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.
  20. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implicationsfor Growth," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 65, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  21. Englebert, Pierre, 2000. "Solving the Mystery of the AFRICA Dummy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1821-1835, October.
  22. Lange, Matthew K., 2004. "British Colonial Legacies and Political Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 905-922, June.
  23. Daron Acemoglu, 1993. "Reward Structures and the Allocation of Talent," CEP Discussion Papers dp0143, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  24. Herschel I. Grossman & Murat Iyigun, 1993. "The Profitabality of Colonialism," NBER Working Papers 4420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Herschel I. Grossman & Murat F. Iyigun, 1995. "The Profitability Of Colonial Investment," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 229-241, November.
  26. Grier, Robin M, 1999. " Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 317-35, March.
  27. Darity, William, Jr, 1992. "A Model of "Original Sin": Rise of the West and Lag of the Rest," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 162-67, May.
  28. 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.
  29. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  30. Nuno R. Garoupa & João E. Gata, 2001. "War and Peace: The European Decolonization Process," Working Papers Department of Economics 2001/02, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  31. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1982. "Directly Unproductive, Profit-seeking (DUP) Activities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 988-1002, October.
  32. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-34, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0508008. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.