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Institutional Development and Colonial Heritage within Brazil

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  • NARITOMI, JOANA
  • SOARES, RODRIGO R.
  • ASSUNÇÃO, JULIANO J.

Abstract

This article analyzes the determinants of local institutions in Brazil. We show that institutional quality and distribution of land are partly inherited from the colonial histories experienced by different areas of the country. The sugar cane boom—characterized by an oligarchic society—is associated with more land inequality. The gold boom—characterized by a heavily inefficient presence of the Portuguese state—is associated with worse governance and access to justice. We do not find similar effects for a postcolonial boom (coffee). We also find that the colonial episodes are correlated with lower provision of public goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Naritomi, Joana & Soares, Rodrigo R. & Assunção, Juliano J., 2012. "Institutional Development and Colonial Heritage within Brazil," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(02), pages 393-422, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:72:y:2012:i:02:p:393-422_00
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    JEL classification:

    • N26 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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