IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/econjl/v129y2019i619p1048-1081..html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Colonial Legacy, State-building and the Salience of Ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Merima Ali
  • Odd-Helge Fjeldstad
  • Boqian Jiang
  • Abdulaziz B Shifa

Abstract

African colonial history suggests that British colonial rule may have undermined state centralisation due to legacies of ethnic segregation and stronger executive constraints. Using micro-data from anglophone and francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa, we find that anglophone citizens are less likely to identify themselves in national terms (relative to ethnic terms). To address endogeneity concerns, we utilise regression discontinuity by focusing on observations near anglophone–francophone borders, both across countries and within Cameroon. Evidence on taxation, security and the power of chiefs also suggests weaker state capacity in anglophone countries. These results highlight the legacy of colonial rule on state-building.

Suggested Citation

  • Merima Ali & Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Boqian Jiang & Abdulaziz B Shifa, 2019. "Colonial Legacy, State-building and the Salience of Ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(619), pages 1048-1081.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:129:y:2019:i:619:p:1048-1081.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.12595
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratisation and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1520-1551, October.
    2. Arthur Blouin & Sharun W. Mukand, 2019. "Erasing Ethnicity? Propaganda, Nation Building, and Identity in Rwanda," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1008-1062.
    3. José G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2005. "Ethnic Polarization, Potential Conflict, and Civil Wars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 796-816, June.
    4. Elise Huillery, 2009. "History Matters: The Long-Term Impact of Colonial Public Investments in French West Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 176-215, April.
    5. Nathan Nunn, 2008. "The Long-term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 139-176.
    6. Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2012. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 20-36, February.
    7. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2020. "Historical Legacies and African Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 53-128, March.
    8. Leeson, Peter T., 2005. "Endogenizing fractionalization," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 75-98, June.
    9. Elias Papaioannou, 2014. "National Institutions and Subnational Development in Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 151-213.
    10. Andrei Shleifer & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Rafael La Porta, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 285-332, June.
    11. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine, 2008. "Legal Institutions and Financial Development," Springer Books, in: Claude Ménard & Mary M. Shirley (ed.), Handbook of New Institutional Economics, chapter 11, pages 251-278, Springer.
    12. Carl Henrik Knutsen & Andreas Kotsadam & Eivind Hammersmark Olsen & Tore Wig, 2017. "Mining and Local Corruption in Africa," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 61(2), pages 320-334, April.
    13. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1218-1244, September.
    14. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9624.
    15. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Judicial Checks and Balances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 445-470, April.
    16. Baldwin, Kate & Huber, John D., 2010. "Economic versus Cultural Differences: Forms of Ethnic Diversity and Public Goods Provision," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 644-662, November.
    17. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2010. "State Capacity, Conflict, and Development," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 1-34, January.
    18. Alberto Alesina & Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2016. "Ethnic Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(2), pages 428-488.
    19. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2016. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1802-1848, July.
    20. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2012. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1339-1392.
    21. Melissa Dell & Benjamin A Olken, 2020. "The Development Effects of the Extractive Colonial Economy: The Dutch Cultivation System in Java," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 164-203.
    22. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    23. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2017. "1807: Economic shocks, conflict and the slave trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 66-76.
    24. Ryan Bubb, 2013. "The Evolution of Property Rights: State Law or Informal Norms?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 555-594.
    25. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    26. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249, April.
    27. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1872-1911, August.
    28. Besley, Timothy & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2014. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict: Evidence from Africa," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 319-336, May.
    29. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    30. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    31. Benn Eifert & Edward Miguel & Daniel N. Posner, 2010. "Political Competition and Ethnic Identification in Africa," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(2), pages 494-510, April.
    32. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
    33. Nicolas Berman & Mathieu Couttenier & Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig, 2017. "This Mine Is Mine! How Minerals Fuel Conflicts in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1564-1610, June.
    34. Lange, Matthew K., 2004. "British Colonial Legacies and Political Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 905-922, June.
    35. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-3252, December.
    36. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2013. "War Signals: A Theory of Trade, Trust, and Conflict," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1114-1147.
    37. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    38. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote, 2009. "Colonialism and Modern Income: Islands as Natural Experiments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 245-262, May.
    39. Gerard Padró I Miquel & Pierre Yared, 2012. "The Political Economy of Indirect Control," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 947-1015.
    40. repec:hrv:faseco:30752835 is not listed on IDEAS
    41. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    42. Lechler, Marie, 2017. "Decentralized Despotism? Indirect colonial rule undermines contemporary democratic attitudes," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168216, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    43. Robert Blanton & T. David Mason & Brian Athow, 2001. "Colonial Style and Post-Colonial Ethnic Conflict in Africa," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 38(4), pages 473-491, July.
    44. Lee, Alexander & Schultz, Kenneth A., 2012. "Comparing British and French Colonial Legacies: A Discontinuity Analysis of Cameroon," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 7(4), pages 365-410, October.
    45. Lechler, Marie & McNamee, Lachlan, 2017. "Decentralized Despotism? Indirect Colonial Rule Undermines Contemporary Democratic Attitudes," Discussion Papers in Economics 36388, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    46. Elias Papaioannou & Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Democratisation and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1520-1551, October.
    47. Nicola Gennaioli & Ilia Rainer, 2007. "The modern impact of precolonial centralization in Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 185-234, September.
    48. Maxim Pinkovskiy & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2016. "Lights, Camera … Income! Illuminating the National Accounts-Household Surveys Debate," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 579-631.
    49. J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2012. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 994-1028, April.
    50. Daron Acemoglu & Tristan Reed & James A. Robinson, 2014. "Chiefs: Economic Development and Elite Control of Civil Society in Sierra Leone," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(2), pages 319-368.
    51. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
    52. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
    53. Peter T. Leeson, 2008. "Social Distance and Self-Enforcing Exchange," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 161-188, January.
    54. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    55. Okoye, Dozie, 2021. "Things fall apart? Missions, institutions, and interpersonal trust," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    56. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    57. José Garcia Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2004. "Ethnic polarization, potential conflict and civil wars," Economics Working Papers 770, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2005.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Antonio, Wycliffe & Griffith-Charles, Charisse, 2019. "Achieving land development benefits on customary/communal land," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 124-133.
    2. Bluhm, Richard & Hodler, Roland & Schaudt, Paul, 2021. "Local majorities: How administrative divisions shape comparative development," Economics Working Paper Series 2110, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    3. Yohan Iddawela & Neil Lee & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2021. "Quality of Sub-national Government and Regional Development in Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(8), pages 1282-1302, August.
    4. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2020. "Historical Legacies and African Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 53-128, March.
    5. Bartoš, Vojtěch & Levely, Ian, 2021. "Sanctioning and trustworthiness across ethnic groups: Experimental evidence from Afghanistan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    6. Flückiger, Matthias & Ludwig, Markus, 2020. "Malaria suitability, urbanization and subnational development in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    7. Ali, Merima & Fjeldstad, Odd‐Helge & Shifa, Abdulaziz B., 2020. "European colonization and the corruption of local elites: The case of chiefs in Africa," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 80-100.
    8. Roberti, Paolo, 2019. "State capacity and repression: A model of colonial rule," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 247-264.
    9. Levely, Ian & Bartos, Vojtech, 2018. "Sanctioning and Trustworthiness Across Ethnic Groups," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 107, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    10. Okoye, Dozie, 2021. "Things fall apart? Missions, institutions, and interpersonal trust," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    11. von Haldenwang, Christian, 2020. "Digitalising the fiscal contract: An interdisciplinary framework for empirical inquiry," Discussion Papers 20/2020, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    12. Kukic, Leonard, 2019. "The last Yugoslavs: ethnic diversity, national identity and civil war," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102323, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. McNamee, Lachlan, 2019. "Indirect colonial rule and the salience of ethnicity," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 142-156.
    14. Fiedler, Charlotte & Rohles, Christopher, 2021. "Social cohesion after armed conflict: A literature review," Discussion Papers 7/2021, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2020. "Historical Legacies and African Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 53-128, March.
    2. Ali, Merima & Fjeldstad, Odd‐Helge & Shifa, Abdulaziz B., 2020. "European colonization and the corruption of local elites: The case of chiefs in Africa," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 80-100.
    3. Arcangelo Dimico, 2017. "Size Matters: The Effect of the Size of Ethnic Groups on Development," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(3), pages 291-318, June.
    4. McNamee, Lachlan, 2019. "Indirect colonial rule and the salience of ethnicity," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 142-156.
    5. Gerring, John & Thacker, Strom C. & Lu, Yuan & Huang, Wei, 2015. "Does Diversity Impair Human Development? A Multi-Level Test of the Diversity Debit Hypothesis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 166-188.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2016. "Ethnic Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(2), pages 428-488.
    7. Gershman, Boris & Rivera, Diego, 2018. "Subnational diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from a new dataset," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 231-263.
    8. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2014. "On the Ethnic Origins of African Development Chiefs and Pre-colonial Political Centralization," NBER Working Papers 20513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Broich, Tobias & Szirmai, Adam & Thomsson, Kaj, 2015. "Precolonial centralisation, foreign aid and modern state capacity in Africa," MERIT Working Papers 2015-025, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    10. Okoye, Dozie, 2021. "Things fall apart? Missions, institutions, and interpersonal trust," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    11. Cemal Eren Arbatlı & Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2020. "Diversity and Conflict," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 727-797, March.
    12. Joseph Flavian Gomes, 2020. "The health costs of ethnic distance: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 195-226, June.
    13. Besley, Timothy & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2014. "The Legacy of Historical Conflict: Evidence from Africa," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 319-336, May.
    14. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2010. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
    16. Andrew Dickens, 2017. "Ethnolinguistic Favoritism in African Politics," Working Papers 1702, Brock University, Department of Economics.
    17. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2016. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1802-1848, July.
    18. Casey, Gregory P. & Owen, Ann L., 2014. "Inequality and Fractionalization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 32-50.
    19. James Fenske, 2014. "Ecology, Trade, And States In Pre-Colonial Africa," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 612-640, June.
    20. Leonardo M. Klüppel & Lamar Pierce & Jason A. Snyder, 2018. "Perspective—The Deep Historical Roots of Organization and Strategy: Traumatic Shocks, Culture, and Institutions," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(4), pages 702-721, August.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:oup:econjl:v:129:y:2019:i:619:p:1048-1081.. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Oxford University Press (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    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.