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 incolonialKenyaprovidesanaturalexperimenttostudytheemer- gence and persistence of this spatial equilibrium. Using new data ataï¬nespatialleveloveronecenturyshowsthatcolonialrailroads causally determined the location of European settlers, which in turn decided the location of the main cities of the country at inde- pendence. 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, yield- ing evidence for how path dependence inï¬‚uences development.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2014|
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