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Endogenizing fractionalization

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  • LEESON, PETER T.

Abstract

In this paper I identify fractionalization as a consequence rather than solely a cause of poor institutions. I investigate how heterogeneous agents in precolonial Africa relied on social distance-reducing signals to make trade with one another possible. I then show how colonial institutions created noise in these signals, inhibiting widespread cooperation. By stifling trade between diverse agents, colonial institutions contributed to Africa's poor economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Leeson, Peter T., 2005. "Endogenizing fractionalization," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 75-98, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:1:y:2005:i:01:p:75-98_00
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