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Diamonds Are Forever: Long-Run Effects of Mining Institutions in Brazil

Author

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  • Marcelo Sacchi de Carvalho

Abstract

This paper uses a regression discontinuity approach to investigate whether a set of colonial policies adopted in the Diamond District of colonial Brazil have long-run impacts on development. Results regarding household income are still inconclusive. On the other hand, the estimated effects on adult literacy and light density from satellite images are positive. I also try to explore potential channels through which this historical event might influence the present. Using a geospatial road location database, I find that observations inside the District’s historical boundaries have denser road networks. Additionally I use microdata from the 1830s to show that slavery was more intense in untreated villages, which has been related in the literature to underdevelopment.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcelo Sacchi de Carvalho, 2015. "Diamonds Are Forever: Long-Run Effects of Mining Institutions in Brazil," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2015_46, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  • Handle: RePEc:spa:wpaper:2015wpecon46
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nathan Nunn, 2008. "The Long-term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 139-176.
    2. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-3252, December.
    3. Melissa Dell, 2010. "The Persistent Effects of Peru's Mining Mita," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1863-1903, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, May.
    6. 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.
    7. J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2012. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 994-1028, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutions; Development; Colonial Brazil;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • N56 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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