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African institutions under colonial rule

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  • Bolt, Jutta
  • Gardner, Leigh

Abstract

Colonial institutions in Africa are the subject of a substantial literature, but it neglects the local institutions which governed Africans in rural areas. This paper uses new data on local African governments, or "Native Authorities" in British Africa to present the first quantitative comparison of African institutions under indirect rule in the late colonial period. Using tax revenue as a measure of state capacity, the data show that the structure and capacity of Native Authorities varied between and within colonies, based not only on underlying economic inequalities but also on the relationships between African elites and colonial governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Bolt, Jutta & Gardner, Leigh, 2019. "African institutions under colonial rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 14198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:14198
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cappelli, Gabriele & Baten, Joerg, 2021. "Numeracy development in Africa: New evidence from a long-term perspective (1730–1970)," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Colonialism; institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N47 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N97 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Africa; Oceania

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