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

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  • Kaniyathu, Sunny John

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaniyathu, Sunny John, 2008. "Evaluating the Impact of Colonialism on Economic Development: A Counterfactual Analysis," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 20, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec08:20
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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
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