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The Legacy of Historical Conflict Evidence from Africa

  • Timothy Besley and Marta Reynal-Querol

This paper exploits variation between and within countries to examine the legacy of recorded conflicts in Africa in the pre-colonial period between 1400 and 1700. There are three main findings. First, we show that historical conflict is correlated with a greater prevalence of post-colonial con.ict. Second, historical conflict is correlated with lower levels of trust, a stronger sense of ethnic identity and a weaker sense of national identity across countries. Third, historical conflict is negatively correlated with subsequent patterns of development within countries.

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File URL: http://www.econrsa.org/node/658
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Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 312.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:312
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  1. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien, 2008. "Armed Conflict and Schooling: Evidence from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide," IZA Discussion Papers 3516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Pelle Ahlerup & Ola Olsson, 2012. "The roots of ethnic diversity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 71-102, June.
  3. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
  4. Goldin, Claudia D. & Lewis, Frank D., 1975. "The Economic Cost of the American Civil War: Estimates and Implications," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(02), pages 299-326, June.
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  6. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
  7. Nico Voigtländer & Joachim Voth, 2011. "Persecution perpetuated: The medieval origins of anti-semitic violence in Nazi Germany," Economics Working Papers 1269, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
  9. Asaf Zussman & Noam Zussman & Morten Orregaard Nielsen, 2008. "Asset Market Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 84-115, 02.
  10. Christopher Ksoll & Rocco Macchiavello & Ameet Morjaria, 2009. "Guns and Roses: The Impact of the Kenyan Post-Election Violence on Flower Exporting Firms," CSAE Working Paper Series 2009-06, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  11. Murat Iyigun, 2008. "Luther and Suleyman," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1465-1494, November.
  12. Robert H. Bates, 2008. "The Logic of State Failure: Learning from Late-Century Africa," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 25(4), pages 297-314, September.
  13. Timothy Besley & Hannes Mueller, 2009. "Estimating the peace dividend: the impact of violence on house prices in Northern Ireland," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25427, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Nicola Gennaioli & Ilia Rainer, 2007. "The modern impact of precolonial centralization in Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 185-234, September.
  15. 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.
  16. Rohner, Dominic & Thoenig, Mathias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda," CEPR Discussion Papers 8741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," NBER Working Papers 17620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
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