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Further Evidence on the Link between Pre-Colonial Political Centralization and Comparative Economic Development in Africa

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  • Michalopoulos, Stelios
  • Papaioannou, Elias

Abstract

We examine the link between pre-colonial statehood and contemporary regional African development, as reflected in satellite images on light density at night. We employ a variety of historical maps to capture the former. Our within-country analysis reveals a strong positive correlation between pre-colonial political centralization and contemporary development (and urbanization). If anything, the association strengthens when we account for measurement error on the historical maps of pre-colonial political organization.

Suggested Citation

  • Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2014. "Further Evidence on the Link between Pre-Colonial Political Centralization and Comparative Economic Development in Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 10258, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10258
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elias Papaioannou, 2014. "National Institutions and Subnational Development in Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 151-213.
    2. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
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    4. 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.
    5. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay & Elliott Green, 2016. "Precolonial Political Centralization and Contemporary Development in Uganda," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(3), pages 471-508.
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    9. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2013. "Pre‐Colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 113-152, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Achim Ahrens, 2015. "Civil conflicts in Africa: Climate, economic shocks, nighttime lights and spill-over effects," SEEC Discussion Papers 1501, Spatial Economics and Econometrics Centre, Heriot Watt University.
    2. Broich, Tobias, 2017. "U.S. and Soviet foreign aid during the Cold War: A case study of Ethiopia," MERIT Working Papers 2017-010, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. 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).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; development; ethnicity; institutions; state capacity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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