IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Gregory N. Price


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. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dominique van de Walle & Dorothyjean Cratty, 2004. "Is the emerging non-farm market economy the route out of poverty in Vietnam?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(2), pages 237-274, June.
    2. Lockheed, Marlaine E & Jamison, Dean T & Lau, Lawrence J, 1987. "Farmer Education and Farm Efficiency: Reply," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 643-644, April.
    3. Minot, Nicholas, 1998. "Generating disaggregated poverty maps," MTID discussion papers 25, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Behavioral responses to risk in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 23-49, October.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023 Elsevier.
    7. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
    8. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1999. "When is growth pro-poor? Evidence from the diverse experiences of India's states," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2263, The World Bank.
    9. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
    10. Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1995. "Human and physical infrastructure: Public investment and pricing policies in developing countries," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 43, pages 2773-2843 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Historical legacies: A model linking Africa's past to its current underdevelopment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 157-175, May.
    2. James Fenske, 2013. "Does Land Abundance Explain African Institutions?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1363-1390, December.
    3. Congdon Fors, Heather, 2014. "Do island states have better institutions?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 34-60.
    4. Hansson, Gustav, 2008. "Same Same but Different? A Comparison of Institutional Models," Working Papers in Economics 329, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. J.A. Agbor & J. W. Fedderke & N. Viegi, 2010. "How Does Colonial Origin Matter for Economic Performance in sub-Saharan Africa?," Working Papers 176, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    6. Olsson, Ola, 2009. "On the democratic legacy of colonialism," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 534-551, December.
    7. Stephanie Seguino, 2005. "All types of inequality are not created equal: divergent impacts of inequality on economic growth," Working Papers 10, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, revised Oct 2005.
    8. Minoiu, Camelia & Reddy, Sanjay G., 2010. "Development aid and economic growth: A positive long-run relation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 27-39, February.
    9. Paul Block & Kenneth Strzepek, 2012. "Power Ahead: Meeting Ethiopia's Energy Needs Under a Changing Climate," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 476-488, August.
    10. Max Köhler & Stefan Sperlich & Julian Vortmeyer, 2011. "The Africa-Dummy in Growth Regressions," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 94, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    11. Davis, Lewis S. & Williamson, Claudia R., 2016. "Culture and the regulation of entry," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 1055-1083.
    12. Fenske, James, 2010. "Institutions in African history and development: A review essay," MPRA Paper 23120, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Dollar, David & Levin, Victoria, 2006. "The Increasing Selectivity of Foreign Aid, 1984-2003," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2034-2046, December.
    14. Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, May.
    15. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00825816 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Juliet Elu & Gregory Price, 2013. "Ethnicity as a Barrier to Childhood and Adolescent Health Capital in Tanzania: Evidence from the Wage-Height Relationship," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 25(1), pages 1-13.
    17. Aurore Gary & Mathilde Maurel, 2013. "The effect of donors' policy coherence on growth," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13046, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    18. Aurore Gary & Mathilde Maurel, 2015. "Donors’ Policy Consistency and Economic Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 511-551, November.
    19. Arhan Ertan & Louis Putterman & Martin Fiszbein, 2012. "Determinants and Economic Consequences of Colonization: A Global Analysis," Working Papers 2012-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    20. William Darity, 2005. "Stratification economics: The role of intergroup inequality," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 29(2), pages 144-153, June.
    21. Olsson, Ola & Hansson, Gustav, 2011. "Country size and the rule of law: Resuscitating Montesquieu," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 613-629, June.
    22. Laura N. Beny & Lisa D. Cook, 2009. "Metals or Management? Explaining Africa's Recent Economic Growth Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 268-274, May.
    23. Ahmed, Abdullahi D. & Mmolainyane, Kelesego K., 2014. "Financial integration, capital market development and economic performance: Empirical evidence from Botswana," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-14.
    24. Olsson, Ola, 2007. "On the Institutional Legacy of Mercantilist and Imperialist Colonialism," Working Papers in Economics 247, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:7:y:2003:i:3:p:478-495. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.