IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ucg/wpaper/0009.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Settler Skills and Colonial Development

Author

Listed:
  • Johan Fourie
  • Dieter von Fintel

Abstract

The emphasis on location-specific factors, such as climate or disease environment, in the explanation of development outcomes in colonial societies implicitly assumes that settler groups were homogenous. Using tax records, this paper shows that the French Huguenots who immigrated to Dutch South Africa at the end of the 17th century were more productive winemakers than the already established non-French farmers. Standard factors of production usually associated with faster growth do not explain the differences between the two groups. We posit that the skills of the Huguenots – the ability to make quality wines – provided a sustainable competitive advantage that not only explains initial but persistent productivity differences. We test this hypothesis by dividing the French settlers into two groups – those originating from wine regions, and those from wheat regions – and comparing them with other settler groups. Potential differences between the French (overall) and the Dutch may be attributable to institutional and cultural differences, while variations within the French group are more likely to be skill-related. This intuitive but important insight – that home-country production determines settler-society productivity, even in later generations – sheds new light on our understanding of how newly-settled colonial societies develop, and of the importance of knowledge and skills in economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan Fourie & Dieter von Fintel, 2011. "Settler Skills and Colonial Development," Working Papers 0009, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0009
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cgeh.nl/sites/default/files/WorkingPapers/CGEH.WP_.No9_.Fourie%26vonFintel.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrei Shleifer & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Rafael La Porta, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 285-332, June.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    4. A'Hearn, Brian & Baten, Jörg & Crayen, Dorothee, 2009. "Quantifying Quantitative Literacy: Age Heaping and the History of Human Capital," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 783-808, September.
    5. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Lessons from the Cape Colony
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-15 15:30:02
    2. Lessons from the Cape Colony
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-15 15:30:02
    3. South Africa: A country of migrants
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2013-12-03 14:18:43
    4. The fruit of the vine
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2014-11-21 11:41:14
    5. The fruit of the vine
      by ? in Johan Fourie's blog on 2014-11-21 11:41:00
    6. Easterly and Levine (2012) and the deathly hallows
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-06-28 19:23:02

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Sharp, Paul, 2019. "Immigrant Communities and Knowledge Spillovers: DanishAmericans and the Development of the Dairy Industry in the United States," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 420, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Rudi Rocha & Claudio Ferraz & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2017. "Human Capital Persistence and Development," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 105-136, October.
    3. Johan Fourie & Nonso Obikili, 2019. "Decolonizing with data: The cliometric turn in African economic history," Working Papers 02/2019, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    4. J. Fourie, 2018. "Cliometrics in South Africa," Studies in Economics and Econometrics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 1-14, August.
    5. Erik Hornung, 2014. "Immigration and the Diffusion of Technology: The Huguenot Diaspora in Prussia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 84-122, January.
    6. Erik Hornung, 2012. "Humankapital, technologische Diffusion und Wachstum - Entwicklung in Preußen," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 46.
    7. Abel Gwaindepi, 2019. "Serving God and Mammon: the ‘minerals-railway complex’ and its effects on colonial public finances in the British Cape Colony, 1810-1910," Working Papers 07/2019, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    8. Johan Fourie & Jörg Baten, 2012. "Slave numeracy in the Cape Colony and comparative development in the eighteenth century," Working Papers 270, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    9. Johan Fourie, 2011. "Slaves as capital investment in the Dutch Cape Colony, 1652-1795," Working Papers 21/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ang, James B., 2013. "Are modern financial systems shaped by state antiquity?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4038-4058.
    2. Sébastien Marchand, 2012. "Legal Origin, Colonial Origins and Deforestation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1653-1670.
    3. Massimiliano Affinito, 2011. "Convergence clubs, the euro-area rank and the relationship between banking and real convergence," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 809, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Papaioannou, Elias & Peydró, José-Luis, 2010. "What lies beneath the euro's effect on financial integration? Currency risk, legal harmonization, or trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 75-88, May.
    5. Andrea Asoni, 2008. "Protection Of Property Rights And Growth As Political Equilibria," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 953-987, December.
    6. James B. Ang & Jakob B. Madsen, 2012. "Risk capital, private credit, and innovative production," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(4), pages 1608-1639, November.
    7. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Elias Papaioannou & José-Luis Peydró, 2013. "Financial Regulation, Financial Globalization, and the Synchronization of Economic Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(3), pages 1179-1228, June.
    8. Alvaro Aguirre, 2017. "Contracting Institutions and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 192-217, March.
    9. Dimas M. Fazio & Benjamin M. Tabak & Daniel O. Cajueiro, 2014. "Inflation Targeting and Banking System Soundness: A Comprehensive Analysis," Working Papers Series 347, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    10. Ross Levine & Chen Lin & Lai Wei, 2017. "Insider Trading and Innovation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 749-800.
    11. Perotti, Enrico & Schwienbacher, Armin, 2009. "The political origin of pension funding," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 384-404, July.
    12. Ararat, Melsa & Claessens, Stijn & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin, 2021. "Corporate governance in emerging markets: A selective review and an agenda for future research," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C).
    13. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2008. "The law and economics of self-dealing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 430-465, June.
    14. Buchen, Clemens, 2010. "Emerging economic systems in Central and Eastern Europe – a qualitative and quantitative assessment," EconStor Theses, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, number 37141.
    15. Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2009. "Contract enforcement and family control of business: Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 597-609, December.
    16. Martin Halla, 2011. "The Link between the Intrinsic Motivation to Comply and Compliance Behaviour: A Critical Appraisal of Existing Evidence," Chapters, in: Friedrich Schneider (ed.), Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 11, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Eiji Yamamura & Inyong Shin, 2013. "Decomposition of Ethnic Heterogeneity on Growth," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 55(1), pages 59-75, March.
    18. Antonczyk, Ron Christian & Salzmann, Astrid Juliane, 2014. "Overconfidence and optimism: The effect of national culture on capital structure," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 132-151.
    19. Schmid, Thomas & Ampenberger, Markus & Kaserer, Christoph & Achleitner, Ann-Kristin, 2010. "Controlling shareholders and payout policy: do founding families have a special 'taste for dividends'?," CEFS Working Paper Series 2010-01, Technische Universität München (TUM), Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS).
    20. Hakkon Kim & Kwangwoo Park & Doojin Ryu, 2017. "Corporate Environmental Responsibility: A Legal Origins Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 381-402, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    South Africa; Cape Colony; French Huguenots; VOC; wine; slaves;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cgeuunl.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sarah Carmichael (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cgeuunl.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.