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Hither Thou Shalt Come, But No Further: Reply to "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation: Comment"


  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Simon Johnson
  • James A. Robinson


David Albouy expresses three main concerns about the results in Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2001) on the relationship between potential settler mortality and institutions. First, there is a general concern that there are high mortality outliers, potentially affecting this relationship, with which we agree. However, limiting the effect of outliers has no impact on our substantive results and if anything significantly strengthens them, in fact making them robust to even extreme versions of his other critiques. His second argument that all the data from Latin America and much of the data from Africa, making up almost 60% of our sample, should be dropped is arbitrary - there is a great deal of well-documented comparable information on the mortality of Europeans in those places during the relevant period. His third argument that a "campaign" dummy should be included in the first stage is at odds with the historical record and is implemented inconsistently; even modest corrections undermine his claims.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2011. "Hither Thou Shalt Come, But No Further: Reply to "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation: Comment"," NBER Working Papers 16966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16966
    Note: DAE EFG LS POL

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
    2. Samuel H. Preston, 1980. "Causes and Consequences of Mortality Declines in Less Developed Countries during the Twentieth Century," NBER Chapters,in: Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries, pages 289-360 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Albouy, David, 2006. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Investigation of the Settler Mortality Data," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt8kt576x8, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel L. Bennett & Hugo J. Faria & James D. Gwartney & Daniel R. Morales, 2016. "Economic Institutions and Comparative Economic Development: A Post-Colonial Perspective," Working Papers 2016-07, University of Miami, Department of Economics.

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    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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