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History, Path Dependence and Development: Evidence from Colonial Railroads, Settlers and Cities in Kenya

  • Remi Jedwab

    ()

    (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

  • Edward Kerby

    ()

    (London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Alexander Moradi

    ()

    (University of Sussex)

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 influences development.

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File URL: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/assets/docs/papers/Jedwab_IIEPWP_2014-2.pdf
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Paper provided by The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2014-02.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2014-02
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/
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