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Population Increase and the End of Colonialism

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  • Grossman, Herschel I
  • Iyigun, Murat F

Abstract

Between 1946 and 1976, the European powers granted independence to all of their large colonies in Africa and Southeast Asia. This paper attempts to provide an economic explanation for this remarkable ending to the era of colonialism. The main theoretical innovation is to consider the effect of population increase on the allocation of time by the indigenous population between productive and subversive activities. The analysis suggests that the increase in population during the colonial period increased the potential private return to subversive activity until the colonies became a net burden on the metropolitan governments. It also suggests that there was less subversive activity in colonies in which the market for indigenous labor was monopsonized because monopsonistic employers internalized the potential negative effect of subversive activity on net profits. Copyright 1997 by The London School of Economics and Political Science

Suggested Citation

  • 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 483-493, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:64:y:1997:i:255:p:483-93
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maurice Obstfeld, 1982. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-270.
    2. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1985. "Taxation of International Capital Flows, the Intertemporal Terms of Trade and the Real Price of Oil," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 382-390, September.
    3. Sebastian Edwards, 1987. "Anticipated Protectionist Policies, Real Exchange Rates and the Current Account," UCLA Economics Working Papers 437, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. J. Peter Neary, 1985. "International Factor Mobility, Minimum Wage Rates, and Factor-Price Equalization: A Synthesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(3), pages 551-570.
    5. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1985. "Current Account Dynamics and the Terms of Trade: Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Two Generations Later," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 43-65, February.
    6. Razin, Assaf & Svensson, Lars E. O., 1983. "Trade taxes and the current account," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 55-57.
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    Cited by:

    1. Verstraeten, Soraya P.A. & van Oers, Hans A.M. & Mackenbach, Johan P., 2016. "Decolonization and life expectancy in the Caribbean," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 87-96.
    2. Iyigun, Murat, 2006. "Ottoman Conquests and European Ecclesiastical Pluralism," IZA Discussion Papers 1973, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Historical legacies: A model linking Africa's past to its current underdevelopment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 157-175.
    4. Bonfatti, Roberto, 2008. "Decolonization: the role of changing world factor endowments," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58058, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Iyigun, Murat, 2008. "Lessons from the Ottoman Harem (On Ethnicity, Religion and War)," IZA Discussion Papers 3556, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. B.P. Zaaruka & J.W. Fedderke, 2011. "Indicators of Political and Economic Institutions in Tanzania: 1884 - 2008," Working Papers 231, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    7. Fletcher, Erin K. & Iyigun, Murat, 2009. "Cultures, Clashes and Peace," IZA Discussion Papers 4116, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Roberto Bonfatti, 2012. "The Sustainability of Empire in Global Perspective: The Role of International Trade Patterns," CESifo Working Paper Series 3857, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Quoc-Anh Do & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest: the Role of Population Concentration," Working Papers 01-2009, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    10. Kolmar, Martin, 2005. "The contribution of Herschel I. Grossman to political economy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 802-814, December.
    11. Quoc-Anh Doy & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest : the Role of Population Concentration," Governance Working Papers 22076, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    12. Campante, Filipe & Do, Quoc-Anh, 2007. "Inequality, Redistribution, and Population," Working Paper Series rwp07-046, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    13. repec:eee:inecon:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:137-156 is not listed on IDEAS

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