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Evaluating the Impact of Colonialism on Economic Development: A Counterfactual Analysis

  • Kaniyathu, Sunny John
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    Did colonization a ect the patterns of development of the colonized territories. I draw attention to the importance of counterfactuals and claim that assessments of the colonial impact are contingent on the counterfactual employed. Paying attention to counterfactuals enables us to design an empirical strategy to assess the impact of colonialism. Inferences based on non-experimental data may su er from various biases. Statistical models make di erent assumptionsto identify the models and correct for likely biases. Causal effects are sensitive to these assumptions. I apply different matching methods and check for robustness of results. In the sample considered, the analysis indicates that colonialism had a negative on the economic development of the colonized but the causal effect was miniscule in economic terms.

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    Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 with number 20.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec08:20
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    1. 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.
    2. Louis Putterman & Valerie Bockstette, 2000. "States and Markets:the Advantage of an Early Start," Working Papers 2000-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
    4. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
    5. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
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