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The Long Term Impact of French Settlement on Education in Algeria


  • Merrouche, Ouarda

    () (Department of Economics)


This paper provides evidence on the long run relationship between European settlers presence and education levels in Algeria. To correct for endogenous sorting of settlers (and natives) into regions I rely on the fact that proximity to the Mediteranean coast determined the timing of conquest and therefore settlements’ size. The main finding indicates that the colonial policy of discrimination explains a large fraction of the disparities in literacy across regions through 1998.However this effect declines significantly over time. I point out three factors that may explain this declining effect: (1) the massive funds allocated to the education sector post-war; (2) the role of the market via migration; (3) social interaction effects whereby natives progressively adopted education and fertility norms of the settlers.

Suggested Citation

  • Merrouche, Ouarda, 2007. "The Long Term Impact of French Settlement on Education in Algeria," Working Paper Series 2007:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2007_002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2003. "Institutional causes, macroeconomic symptoms: volatility, crises and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 49-123, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer & Rohini Somanathan, 2005. "History, Social Divisions, and Public Goods in Rural India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 639-647, 04/05.
    4. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    5. Charles F. Manski & Joram Mayshar, 2003. "Private Incentives and Social Interactions: Fertility Puzzles in Israel," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 181-211, March.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ohlsson, Henry, 2011. "The legacy of the Swedish gift and inheritance tax, 1884–2004," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 539-569, December.
    2. Bruhn, Miriam & Gallego, Francisco A., 2008. "Good, bad, and ugly colonial activities : studying development across the Americas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4641, The World Bank.
    3. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen & Luca Micheletto, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods and Nondistortionary Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-27, May.

    More about this item


    French rule; Discrimination; Education; Social Interactions;

    JEL classification:

    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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