History, Path Dependence and Development: Evidence from Colonial Railroads, Settlers and Cities in Kenya
Little is known about the extent and forces of urban path dependence in developing countries. Railroad construction in colonial Kenya provides a natural experiment to study the emergence and persistence of this spatial equilibrium. Using new data at a fine spatial level over one century shows that colonial railroads causally determined the location of European settlers, which in turn decided the location of the main cities of the country at independence. Railroads declined and settlers left after independence, yet cities persisted. Their early emergence served as a mechanism to coordinate investments in the post-independence period, yielding evidence for how path dependence influences development.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2014|
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- Remi Jedwab & Edward Kerby & Alexander Moradi, 2014. "History, Path Dependence and Development: Evidence from Colonial Railroads, Settlers and Cities in Kenya," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
- R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General
- O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
- O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- N97 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Africa; Oceania
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2014-02-21 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2014-02-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2014-02-21 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-GEO-2014-02-21 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-GRO-2014-02-21 (Economic Growth)
- NEP-HIS-2014-02-21 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-PKE-2014-02-21 (Post Keynesian Economics)
- NEP-TRE-2014-02-21 (Transport Economics)
- NEP-URE-2014-02-21 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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