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Colonization and development: The long-term effect of Russian settlement in the North Caucasus, 1890s–2000s

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  • Natkhov, Timur

Abstract

This paper exploits differences in the proportion of Russian settlers in the North Caucasus in the nineteenth century to estimate the effect of colonization on long-term development. The identification strategy relies on the fact that the primary purpose of Russian colonization was to protect the country’s access to warm-water ports. Therefore, settlement varied depending on the proximity to the Black Sea coast. Instrumenting the share of settlers by the distance to the coast, I show the positive impact of settlement on literacy among the indigenous population with long-term effects on income, educational attainment and the quality of local governance. To insure the validity of the instrument, I conduct a placebo test that shows that distance to the coast does not predict literacy and income in the South Caucasus, where Russians had no strategic interest in protecting the coastline. The mechanisms of influence include administrative integration, school building policies and social structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Natkhov, Timur, 2015. "Colonization and development: The long-term effect of Russian settlement in the North Caucasus, 1890s–2000s," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 76-97.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:43:y:2015:i:1:p:76-97
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2014.09.003
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    1. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:413-430 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:taf:pocoec:v:28:y:2016:i:2:p:220-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gani Aldashev & Catherine Guirkinger, 2016. "Colonization and Changing Social Structure: Kazakhstan 1896-1910," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-10, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. repec:eee:ecosys:v:42:y:2018:i:4:p:533-555 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Colonization; Social structure; Human capital; Long-run development; Natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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