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Economic Growth in a Cross‐section of Nonindustrial Countries: Does Colonial Heritage Matter for Africa?

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  • Gregory N. Price

Abstract

The paper investigates the effects of Sub‐Saharan African colonial heritage on economic growth in a sample of nonindustrial countries. An empirical Solow growth model is specified in a way that allows an examination of whether or not growth in Sub‐Saharan Africa reflects a legacy of extractive colonialization strategies, motivated by a hostile disease environment that resulted in extractive growth‐retarding institutions that persisted after independence. Parameter estimates suggest that the partial effects of extractive institutions engendered by a twentieth century colonial heritage account for approximately 30% of the growth gap between the former colonies in Sub‐Saharan Africa and other nonindustrial countries.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:7:y:2003:i:3:p:478-495
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9361.00204
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    1. Mark F. J. Steel & Eduardo Ley, 1999. "We Just Averaged over Two Trillion Cross-Country Growth Regressions," IMF Working Papers 99/101, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Alam, M S, 1994. "Colonialism, Decolonisation and Growth Rates: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 235-257, June.
    3. Bertocchi, Graziella & Canova, Fabio, 2002. "Did colonization matter for growth?: An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1851-1871, December.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    5. Gemmell, Norman, 1996. "Evaluating the Impacts of Human Capital Stocks and Accumulation on Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(1), pages 9-28, February.
    6. Eduardo Ley & Mark F J Steel, 1999. "We have just averaged over two trillion cross-country growth regressions," Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 43, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
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