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On the Dispensability of New Transportation Technologies: Evidence from the Heterogeneous Impact of Railroads in Nigeria

Author

Listed:
  • Okoye, Dozie
  • Pongou, Roland
  • Yokossi, Tite

Abstract

Exploring heterogeneity in the impact of a technology is a first step towards understanding conditions under which this technology is conducive to economic development. This article shows that colonial railroads in Nigeria have large long-lasting impacts on individual and local development in the North, but virtually no impact in the South neither in the short run nor in the long run. This heterogeneous impact of the railway can be accounted for by the distance to ports of export. We highlight the fact that the railway had no impact in areas that had access to ports of export, thanks to their proximity to the coast and to their use of waterways, and that those areas barely adopted the railway as it did not reduce their shipping costs. Our analyses rule out the possibility that the heterogeneous impacts are driven by cohort effects, presence of major roads, early cities, or missionary activity, or by crude oil production.

Suggested Citation

  • Okoye, Dozie & Pongou, Roland & Yokossi, Tite, 2017. "On the Dispensability of New Transportation Technologies: Evidence from the Heterogeneous Impact of Railroads in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 77293, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:77293
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Akyeampong,Emmanuel & Bates,Robert H. & Nunn,Nathan & Robinson,James (ed.), 2014. "Africa's Development in Historical Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107041158, July - De.
    3. Remi Jedwab & Alexander Moradi, 2016. "The Permanent Effects of Transportation Revolutions in Poor Countries: Evidence from Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 268-284, May.
    4. Adam Storeygard, 2016. "Farther on down the Road: Transport Costs, Trade and Urban Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1263-1295.
    5. Johan Fourie and Alfonso Herranz-Loncan & Alfonso Herranz-Loncan, 2015. "Growth (and Segregation) by Rail: How the Railways Shaped Colonial South Africa," Working Papers 538, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    6. Pritha Dev & Blessing U. Mberu & Roland Pongou, 2016. "Ethnic Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Formal Education in Nigeria," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 603-660.
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    8. Leonard Wantchekon & Marko Klašnja & Natalija Novta, 2015. "Education and Human Capital Externalities: Evidence from Colonial Benin," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 703-757.
    9. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10262 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
    11. Okoye, Dozie & Pongou, Roland, 2014. "Historical Missionary Activity, Schooling, and the Reversal of Fortunes: Evidence from Nigeria," MPRA Paper 58052, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jecgro:v:22:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10887-017-9144-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Remi Jedwab & Felix Meier zu Selhausen & Alexander Moradi, 2018. "The Economics of Missionary Expansion: Evidence from Africa and Implications for Development," CSAE Working Paper Series 2018-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Impact Heterogeneity; Colonial Investments; Railway; Africa; Long-run Effects; Development; Nigeria;

    JEL classification:

    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General

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