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Pre‐Colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development

Pre‐Colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development We investigate the role of deeply rooted pre‐colonial ethnic institutions in shaping comparative regional development within African countries. We combine information on the spatial distribution of ethnicities before colonization with regional variation in contemporary economic performance, as proxied by satellite images of light density at night. We document a strong association between pre‐colonial ethnic political centralization and regional development. This pattern is not driven by differences in local geographic features or by other observable ethnic‐specific cultural and economic variables. The strong positive association between pre‐colonial political complexity and contemporary development also holds within pairs of adjacent ethnic homelands with different legacies of pre‐colonial political institutions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Econometrica Wiley

Pre‐Colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development

Econometrica , Volume 81 (1) – Jan 1, 2013

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References (6)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0012-9682
eISSN
1468-0262
DOI
10.3982/ECTA9613
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We investigate the role of deeply rooted pre‐colonial ethnic institutions in shaping comparative regional development within African countries. We combine information on the spatial distribution of ethnicities before colonization with regional variation in contemporary economic performance, as proxied by satellite images of light density at night. We document a strong association between pre‐colonial ethnic political centralization and regional development. This pattern is not driven by differences in local geographic features or by other observable ethnic‐specific cultural and economic variables. The strong positive association between pre‐colonial political complexity and contemporary development also holds within pairs of adjacent ethnic homelands with different legacies of pre‐colonial political institutions.

Journal

EconometricaWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2013

Keywords: ; ; ;

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