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Persistence of fortune: Accounting for Population Movements, There was no Post-Columbian Reversal

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Abstract

We revisit the idea that colonized countries that were more (less) economically advanced in 1500 became poorer (richer, respectively) by the late 20th century. Using data on place of origin of today's country populations and the urbanization and population density measures used by Acemoglu et al. (2002) as indicators of level of development in 1500, we confirm a reversal of fortune for territories but find persistence of fortune and their descendants. The results are equally strong or stronger for three alternative measures of early development, namely years since transition to agriculture, state history, and the Comin et al (2010) year 1500 technology index. They are also robust to changing end years, to inclusion of non-colonized countries or exclusion of "neo-Europes" and city states, and to the addition of various controls.

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  • Areendam Chanda & C. Justin Cook & Louis Putterman, 2013. "Persistence of fortune: Accounting for Population Movements, There was no Post-Columbian Reversal," Working Papers 2013-4, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2013-4
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    Cited by:

    1. Anastasia Litina, 2016. "Natural land productivity, cooperation and comparative development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 351-408, December.
    2. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2016. "The European origins of economic development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 225-257, September.
    3. Fan Duan & Bulent Unel, 2017. "Persistence of Cities: Evidence from China," Departmental Working Papers 2017-08, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    4. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2014. "Long-Term Barriers to Economic Development," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 3, pages 121-176 Elsevier.
    5. Ertan, Arhan & Fiszbein, Martin & Putterman, Louis, 2016. "Who was colonized and when? A cross-country analysis of determinants," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 165-184.
    6. Okoye, Dozie & Pongou, Roland, 2015. "Sea Change: The Competing Long-Run Impacts of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Missionary Activity in Africa," MPRA Paper 66221, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Timothy J Hatton & Zachary Ward, 2018. "International Migration in the Atlantic Economy 1850 - 1940," CEH Discussion Papers 02, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    8. Ho, Chi Pui, 2016. "GeoPopulation-Institution Hypothesis: Reconciling American Development Process and Reversal of Fortune within a Unified Growth Framework," MPRA Paper 73863, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Long-Run Economic Growth; Comparative Development; Colonized Countries; Early Development;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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