IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/22162.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Colonial Institutions, Slavery, Inequality, and Development: Evidence from São Paulo, Brazil

Author

Listed:
  • Summerhill, William

Abstract

Brazil is frequently portrayed as exhibiting persistent and structural economic inequality that is rooted in the early colonial experience, and is believed to undermine development in the long run. I construct original measures of agricultural inequality for 1905 in what is today Brazil’s largest state, using farm-level micro data for some 50,000 farms. Using these measures of inequality, along with contemporary covariates and other historical variables I assess the impact of colonial institutions, slavery, farm inequality, and political inequality on long-term development in São Paulo. The principal findings are: (1) a potentially coercive colonial institution, the aldeamento, is positively correlated with income per capita at the end of the twentieth century; (2) measures of the intensity of slavery have little if any independent impact on income in 2000; (3) farm inequality was not persistent in São Paulo at the county level over the twentieth century; (4) in both OLS and IV estimates, no negative effect can be found for 1905 inequality on long-term development; (5) political inequality in the early twentieth century, measured by the extent of the franchise, is unrelated to contemporary farm inequality, and also unrelated to long-term economic growth; and (6) the provision of local public goods in the early twentieth century, measured by local public education outlays, has a positive impact on long-term development, but was not related to contemporary economic or political inequality. Overall, neither the intensity of slavery nor the pattern of inequality had any discernable negative economic impact in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Summerhill, William, 2010. "Colonial Institutions, Slavery, Inequality, and Development: Evidence from São Paulo, Brazil," MPRA Paper 22162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22162
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/22162/1/MPRA_paper_22162.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    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. Ross Levine, 2005. "Law, Endowments and Property Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 61-88, Summer.
    3. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
    4. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "History without Evidence: Latin American Inequality since 1491," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 3, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    5. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    7. Luiz M. Cruz & Marcelo J. Moreira, 2005. "On the Validity of Econometric Techniques with Weak Instruments: Inference on Returns to Education Using Compulsory School Attendance Laws," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
    8. Ross Levine & Norman Loayza & Thorsten Beck, 2002. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.), Banking, Financial Integration, and International Crises, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 2, pages 031-084 Central Bank of Chile.
    9. 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.
    10. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
    11. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, July.
    12. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    13. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    14. Engerman, Stanley L. & Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 2005. "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 891-921, December.
    15. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
    16. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
    17. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    18. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
    19. Jaime Bonet & Adolfo Meisel Roca, 2006. "El legado colonial como determinante del ingreso per cápita departamental en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL Y URBANA 002520, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
    20. Naritomi, Joana & Soares, Rodrigo R. & Assunção, Juliano J., 2012. "Institutional Development and Colonial Heritage within Brazil," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(02), pages 393-422, June.
    21. 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.
    22. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
    23. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Ewout Frankema, 2010. "The colonial roots of land inequality: geography, factor endowments, or institutions?," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(2), pages 418-451, May.
    26. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-299, September.
    27. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    28. Summerhill, William R., 2005. "Big Social Savings in a Small Laggard Economy: Railroad-Led Growth in Brazil," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(01), pages 72-102, March.
    29. James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Political Losers as a Barrier to Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 126-130, May.
    30. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    31. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
    32. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
    33. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "History without Evidence: Latin American Inequality since 1491," NBER Working Papers 14766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Rudi Rocha & Claudio Ferraz & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2017. "Human Capital Persistence and Development," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 105-136, October.
    2. Graziella Bertocchi, 2015. "Slavery, racial inequality, and education," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 122-122, February.
    3. Graziella Bertocchi, 2016. "The legacies of slavery in and out of Africa," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, December.
    4. Acemoglu, Daron & García-Jimeno, Camilo & Robinson, James A., 2012. "Finding Eldorado: Slavery and long-run development in Colombia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 534-564.
    5. Renato Colistete & Maria Lucia Lamounier, 2014. "Land Inequality in a Coffee Economy: São Paulo During the Early Twentieth Century," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2014_01, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    6. Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2014. "Slavery, education, and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 197-209.
    7. André Martínez-Fritscher & Aldo Musacchio & Martina Viarengo, 2010. "The Great Leap Forward: The Political Economy Of Education In Brazil, 1889-1930," Working Papers 03-2010, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
    8. Musacchio, Aldo & Fritscher, André Martínez & Viarengo, Martina, 2014. "Colonial Institutions, Trade Shocks, and the Diffusion of Elementary Education in Brazil, 1889–1930," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 730-766, September.
    9. Baten, Joerg & Juif, Dácil, 2014. "A story of large landowners and math skills: Inequality and human capital formation in long-run development, 1820–2000," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 375-401.
    10. Jean-Paul Faguet & Fabio Sánchez & Marta-Juanita Villaveces, 2015. "Land Reform, Latifundia and Social Development at Local Level in Colombia, 1961-2010," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 012569, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    11. Galan, Juan Sebastian, 2011. "The Long Trace of Inequality: Evidence from Cundinamarca, Colombia," Documentos CEDE Series 107398, Universidad de Los Andes, Economics Department.
    12. Irina Rosa España E & Irina Rosa España E. y Fabio Sánchez T., 2012. "Colonial Mestizaje and its Consequences for Human Capital and Early Twentieth Century Regional Industrialization in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010015, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    13. Graziella Bertocchi, 2016. "The Legacies of Slavery in and out of Africa," Department of Economics 0096, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    14. William F. Maloney & Felipe Valencia Caicedo, 2012. "The Persistence of (Subnational) Fortune: Geography, Agglomeration, and Institutions in the New World," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010017, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    15. Álvaro Aguirre, 2013. "Rebellions, Technical Change, and the Early Development of Political Institutions in Latin America," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 688, Central Bank of Chile.
    16. Bruno Gabriel Witzel de Souza, 2016. "Subsidies to the History of the German-Speaking Immigration to the Province / State of São Paulo, Brazil (1840-1920)," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 233, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    17. Irina Rosa España Eljaiek & Fabio Sánchez Torres, 2010. "Industrialización regional, café y capital humano en la primera mitad del siglo XX en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 007723, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    18. Bruno Gabriel Witzel de Souza, 2016. "Immigration and the Path-Dependence of Education: German-Speaking Immigrants, On-the-Job Skills, and Ethnic Schools in São Paulo, Brazil (1840-1920)," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 234, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; economic development; wealth; agriculture; regional analysis; growth; slavery; underdevelopment; municipalities; Latin America; public finance;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • N9 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22162. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.