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

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  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. Aslanidis, Nektarios & Martínez Ibáñez, Oscar & Tadei, Federico, 2020. "The Integration of West Africa in the Global Economy, 1842-1938," Working Papers 2072/417678, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    2. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2020. "Historical Legacies and African Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 53-128, March.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Sebastian Hohmann & Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2021. "Intergenerational Mobility in Africa," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(1), pages 1-35, January.
    4. Remi Jedwab & Felix Meier zu Selhausen & Alexander Moradi, 2022. "The economics of missionary expansion: evidence from Africa and implications for development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 149-192, June.
    5. Fabian Wahl, 2017. "Does European development have Roman roots? Evidence from the German Limes," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 313-349, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Impact Heterogeneity; Colonial Investments; Railway; Africa; Long-run Effects; Development; Nigeria;
    All these keywords.

    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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