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British Colonial Institutions and Economic Development in India

  • Shilpi Kapur
  • Sukkoo Kim
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    We explore the impact of British colonial institutions on the economic development of India. In some regions, the British colonial government assigned property rights in land and taxes to landlords whereas in others it assigned them directly to cultivators or non-landlords. Although Banerjee and Iyer (2005) find that agricultural productivity of non-landlord areas diverged and out-performed relative to landlord areas after 1965 with the advent of the Green Revolution, we find evidence of superior economic performance of non-landlord regions in both the pre- and the post-independence periods. We believe that landlord and non-landlord regions diverged because their differing property rights institutions led to differences in incentives for development.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12613.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12613.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12613
    Note: DAE CF
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    1. North, D-C, 1997. "The Process of Economic Change," Research Paper 128, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    2. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," Working Papers id:2811, eSocialSciences.
    6. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 10481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Collins, William J., 1999. "Labor Mobility, Market Integration, and Wage Convergence in Late 19th Century India," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 246-277, July.
    9. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
    10. 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, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
    11. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction, And Growth: Evidence From India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 389-430, May.
    12. Cohn, Bernard S., 1961. "From Indian Status to British Contract," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(04), pages 613-628, December.
    13. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
    14. Tirthankar Roy, 2002. "Economic History and Modern India: Redefining the Link," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 109-130, Summer.
    15. Satish Chandra Mishra, 1983. "On the reliability of pre-independence agricultural statistics in Bombay and Punjab," The Indian Economic & Social History Review, , vol. 20(2), pages 171-190, June.
    16. Alan Heston, 1978. "A Further Critique of Historical Yields Per Acre in India," The Indian Economic & Social History Review, , vol. 15(2), pages 187-210, April.
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