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Development at the border : a study of national integration in post-colonial West Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Denis Cogneau

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris, PSE - Paris School of Economics, IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement)

  • Sandrine Mesplé-Somps

    (IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme, UP9 - Université Paris 9, Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine)

  • Gilles Spielvogel

    (DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme, UMR Développement et Sociétés - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement)

Abstract

In Africa, boundaries delineated during the colonial era now divide young in-dependent states. By applying regression discontinuity designs to a large set of surveys covering the 1986-2001 period, this paper identities many large and significant jumps in welfare at the borders between five West-African countries around Cote d'Ivoire. Border discontinuities mirror the differences between country averages with respect to household income, connection to utilities and education. Country of residence often makes a difference, even if distance to capital city has some attenuating power. The results are consistent with a national integration process that is underway but not yet achieved.

Suggested Citation

  • Denis Cogneau & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps & Gilles Spielvogel, 2010. "Development at the border : a study of national integration in post-colonial West Africa," PSE - G-MOND WORKING PAPERS halshs-00966312, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:gmonwp:halshs-00966312
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00966312
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elise Huillery, 2009. "History Matters: The Long-Term Impact of Colonial Public Investments in French West Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 176-215, April.
    2. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Borders and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 331-386, December.
    3. T. Paul Schultz, 1998. "Inequality in the distribution of personal income in the world: How it is changing and why," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(3), pages 307-344.
    4. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    5. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    7. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1998. "Troubles with the Neighbours: Africa's Problem, Africa's Opportunity," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(1), pages 120-142, March.
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    11. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10262 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ryan Bubb, 2013. "The Evolution of Property Rights: State Law or Informal Norms?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 555-594.
    2. Cogneau, Denis & Moradi, Alexander, 2014. "Borders That Divide: Education and Religion in Ghana and Togo Since Colonial Times," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 694-729, September.
    3. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Geography; Institutions; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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