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Trade and Colonial Status

Author

Listed:
  • José De Sousa
  • Julie Lochard

Abstract

Does colonisation explain differences in trade performance across developing countries? In this paper, we analyse the differential impact of British versus French colonial legacies on the current trade of African ex-colonies. We initially find that former British colonies trade more, on average, than do their French counterparts. This difference might be the result of the relative superiority of British institutions. However, a core concern is the non-random selection of colonies by the British. Historians argue that with Britain, trade preceded colonisation. Using an instrument based on colonisation history to control for this endogeneity, we find no evidence of a systematic difference between the British and French colonial legacies with respect to trade. This finding suggests that the apparent better performance of British ex-colonies might be instead explained by pre-colonial conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • José De Sousa & Julie Lochard, 2010. "Trade and Colonial Status," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 10-12, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
  • Handle: RePEc:rae:wpaper:201012
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Freund, Caroline; Rocha, Nadia, 2010. "What Constrains Africas Exports?," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 16, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Pre-colonial institutions rule
      by Kariobangi in Kariobangi on 2012-05-30 16:33:47

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/9564 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Emmanuelle Lavallée & Julie Lochard, 2012. "Independence and trade: new evidence from French colonial trade data," Post-Print hal-01609979, HAL.
    3. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10246 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich, 2011. "Romer’s Charter Cities v. Colonization, Imperialism, and Colonialism: A General Characterization," MPRA Paper 29974, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Cristina Terra & Tania El Kallab, 2014. "French Colonial Trade Patterns: European Settlement," THEMA Working Papers 2014-27, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade; colonisation; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F54 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Colonialism; Imperialism; Postcolonialism
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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