IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/upf/upfgen/202.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Did colonization matter for growth? An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment

Author

Listed:
  • Graziella Bertocchi
  • Fabio Canova

Abstract

We investigate the impact of 20th--century European colonization on growth in Africa. We find that in the 1960--88 period growth has been faster for dependencies than for colonies; for British and French colonies than for Portuguese, Belgian and Italian ones; and for countries with less economic penetration during the colonial period. On average, African growth accelerates after decolonization. Proxies for colonial heritage add explanatory power to growth regressions and make indicators for human capital, political and ethnic instability lose significance. Colonial variables capture the same effects of a sub--Saharan dummy and reduce its significance when jointly included in a cross sectional regression with 98 countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Graziella Bertocchi & Fabio Canova, 1996. "Did colonization matter for growth? An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," Economics Working Papers 202, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:202
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/202.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alam, M S, 1994. "Colonialism, Decolonisation and Growth Rates: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 235-257, June.
    2. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
    3. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
    4. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    5. Grier, Robin M, 1999. "Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 317-335, March.
    6. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    7. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    8. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Trade Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 6562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    10. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    11. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1994. "Sources of economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-46, June.
    12. Kleiman, Ephraim, 1976. "Trade and the Decline of Colonialism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(343), pages 459-480, September.
    13. Mr. Dhaneshwar Ghura & Mr. Michael T. Hadjimichael, 1995. "Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 1995/136, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    15. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "The Poverty of Nations: A Quantitative Exploration," NBER Working Papers 5414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 1996. "Fiscal Adjustment and Growth: In and Out of Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 5(3), pages 7-59, October.
    17. Costas Azariadis & Allan Drazen, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-526.
    18. 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.
    19. Herschel I. Grossman & Murat F. Iyigun, 1995. "The Profitability Of Colonial Investment," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 229-241, November.
    20. John Gallagher & Ronald Robinson, 1953. "The Imperialism Of Free Trade," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 6(1), pages 1-15, August.
    21. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    22. Romer, Paul M., 1990. "Human capital and growth: Theory and evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 251-286, January.
    23. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    25. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-376, October.
    26. Svedberg, Peter, 1981. "Colonial Enforcement of Foreign Direct Investment," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 49(1), pages 21-38, March.
    27. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Bertocchi, Graziella, 2011. "Growth, Colonization, and Institutional Development: In and Out of Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 5856, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Louis Putterman, 2006. "Sub-Saharan Growth Surprises: Geography, Institutions And History in an all African Data Panel," Working Papers 2006-21, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. R Burger & S du Plessis, 2011. "Examining the Robustness of Competing Explanations of Slow Growth in African Countries," Studies in Economics and Econometrics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 21-47, December.
    4. Eris, Mehmet, 2010. "Population heterogeneity and growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1211-1222, September.
    5. Fenske, James, 2010. "Institutions in African history and development: A review essay," MPRA Paper 23120, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Durlauf, Steven N. & Quah, Danny T., 1999. "The new empirics of economic growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 235-308, Elsevier.
    7. Celal Kucuker, 2003. "Türkiye Ýktisat Kongresi Büyüme Stratejileri Çalýþma Grubu," Working Papers 2003/5, Turkish Economic Association.
    8. Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich, 2018. "Endogenous constraints, coefficients of economic distance, and economic performance of African countries – An exploratory essay," MPRA Paper 90065, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Gimenez, G. & Sanau, J., 2009. "Investment, Human Capital and Institutions: A Multi-equational Approach for the Study of Economic Growth, 1985-2000," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(1).
    10. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. "States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-369, December.
    11. Gregorio Jiménez & Jaime Sanaú, 2007. "The Desirability of Multi-equational Approaches for the Study of Economic Growth. An Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 02/07, Instituto Universitario de Análisis Económico y Social.
    12. Paap, Richard & Franses, Philip Hans & van Dijk, Dick, 2005. "Does Africa grow slower than Asia, Latin America and the Middle East? Evidence from a new data-based classification method," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 553-570, August.
    13. Steven N. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & Chih Ming Tan, 2008. "Empirics of Growth and Development," Chapters, in: Amitava Krishna Dutt & Jaime Ros (ed.), International Handbook of Development Economics, Volumes 1 & 2, volume 0, chapter 3, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Anabela Queirós & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2014. "Economic growth, human capital and structural change: an empirical analysis," FEP Working Papers 549, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    15. Takahiro SATO, 2017. "India in the World Economy: Inferences from Empirics of Economic Growth," ESRI Discussion paper series 338, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    16. W. A. Naudé, 2004. "The effects of policy, institutions and geography on economic growth in Africa: an econometric study based on cross-section and panel data," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(6), pages 821-849.
    17. Hans Gersbach & Lars-H. Siemers, 2014. "Can democracy induce development? A constitutional perspective," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 177-196, April.
    18. Angel de la Fuente & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Human capital in a global and knowledge-based economy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 562.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    19. Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich, 2007. "The effects of technology-as-knowledge on the economic performance of developing countries: An econometric analysis using annual publications data for Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, 1976-2004," MPRA Paper 3482, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Barrett, Christopher B. & Swallow, Brent M., 2006. "Fractal poverty traps," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-15, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Colonization; growth; Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

    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:upf:upfgen:202. 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: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    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: The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask the person in charge to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    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.