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History matters: New evidence on the long run impact of colonial rule on institutions

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  • Jones, Patricia

Abstract

This paper proposes a new instrument for institutional quality which varies across countries with historically low rates of European settlement. Using a new data set which exploits differences in the quality of colonial administration, it finds evidence that colonies with better paid colonial governors developed better institutions (and became wealthier) than colonies with lesser paid governors. Initially, the best paid governors were sent to colonies which generated the largest revenues but, since the governors’ pay scale remained largely fixed for the next 40years, the same colonies continued to receive the best governors. The data indicate that these early differences in colonial administration—and not initial differences in revenue generating capacity—had a long-run impact on economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Jones, Patricia, 2013. "History matters: New evidence on the long run impact of colonial rule on institutions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 181-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:1:p:181-200
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2012.04.002
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    Cited by:

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    2. Cristina Terra & Tania El Kallab, 2014. "French Colonial Trade Patterns: European Settlement," THEMA Working Papers 2014-27, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    3. Lavallée, Emmanuelle & Lochard, Julie, 2015. "The comparative effects of independence on trade," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 613-632.
    4. Anatole Goundan, 2018. "Colonial Legacy and Economic Efficiency across Africa: A Metafrontier Approach," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 30(2), pages 187-199, June.
    5. Keith W. Glaister & Nigel Driffield & Yupu Lin, 2020. "Foreign Direct Investment to Africa: Is There a Colonial Legacy?," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 60(3), pages 315-349, June.
    6. Keith W. Glaister & Nigel Driffield & Yupu Lin, 0. "Foreign Direct Investment to Africa: Is There a Colonial Legacy?," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-35.
    7. Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2020. "Traditional law in times of the nation state: why is it so prevalent?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 445-461, August.
    8. Liou, Ru-Shiun & Rao-Nicholson, Rekha, 2017. "Out of Africa: The role of institutional distance and host-home colonial tie in South African Firms’ post-acquisition performance in developed economies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1184-1195.
    9. Broms, Rasmus, 2017. "Colonial Revenue Extraction and Modern Day Government Quality in the British Empire," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 269-280.
    10. Christian Bjørnskov & Martin Rode, 2020. "Regime types and regime change: A new dataset on democracy, coups, and political institutions," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 531-551, April.
    11. Xu, Guo, 2019. "The colonial origins of fiscal capacity: Evidence from patronage governors," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 263-276.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Comparative economics; Institutions; Economic growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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