The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation

  title={The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation},
  author={Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson and James A. Robinson},
  journal={MIT Economics Department Working Paper Series},
We exploit differences in the mortality rates faced by European colonialists to estimate the effect of institutions on economic performance. Our argument is that Europeans adopted very different colonization policies in different colonies, with different associated institutions. The choice of colonization strategy was, at least in part, determined by whether Europeans could settle in the colony. In places where Europeans faced high mortality rates, they could not settle and they were more… 
Revisiting the effect of colonial institutions on comparative economic development
The relationship between mortality, temperature, and economic development in former European colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Americas is examined and it is found that European settler mortality rates increased with regional temperatures and economic output decreased with Regional temperatures.
The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation
We exploit differences in the mortality rates faced by European colonialists to estimate the effect of institutions on economic performance. Our argument is that Europeans adopted very different
Colonial Origins and Fertility: Can the Market Overcome History?∗
Can market incentives overcome the long-term impact of historical institutions? We address this question by focusing on the role of colonial reproductive laws in shaping fertility behavior in Africa.
Institutions and the colonisation of Africa: some lessons from French colonial economics
  • A. Zouache
  • Economics
    Journal of Institutional Economics
  • 2017
Abstract This paper will propose a comparative analysis of the conceptualization of colonisation that could shed light on the contemporary economic analysis of the colonial legacy in Africa. More
Politics, Public Expenditure and the Evolution of Poverty in Africa 1920-2009
We investigate the historical roots of poverty, with particular reference to the experience of Africa during the 20th century. We find that institutional inheritance is an important influence on
The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation: Comment
Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson's (2001) seminal article argues property-rights institutions powerfully affect national income, using estimated mortality rates of early European settlers to
The Colonial and Geographic Origins of Comparative Development
While the direct impact of geographic endowments on prosperity is present in all countries, in former colonies, geography has also affected colonization policies and institutional outcomes. Thus, one
Once Upon a Time in the Americas: Land and Immigration Policies in the New World
Our paper aims to improve our understanding of whether there are systematic patterns in the evolution of institutions by examining the evolution of land and immigration policies across the range of
Institutions Versus Policies: A Tale of Two Islands
Recent work emphasizes the primacy of differences in countries' colonially-bequeathed property rights and legal systems for explaining differences in their subsequent economic development. Barbados
A Stakeholder Empire: The Political Economy of Spanish Imperial Rule in America
This paper revises the traditional view of Spain as a predatory colonial state that extracted revenue from natural resources and populations in the Americas while offering little in return. Using


Did Colonization Matter for Growth? An Empirical Exploration into the Historical Causes of Africa's Underdevelopment
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
International Investment and Colonial Control: A New Interpretation
The impact of economic factors on colonial imperialism in the late nineteenth century has long been a topic of debate. This article examines the expected relationship between different forms of
Obstacles to Economic Growth in Nineteenth-Century Mexico
THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF MEXICO HAS ADVANCED dramatically in recent years. The most important revisionist work has concentrated on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, although major works have
Merchant Capital and the Roots of State Power in Senegal, 1930-1985
In most post-colonial regimes in sub-Saharan Africa, state power has been used to structure economic production in ways that have tended to produce economic stagnation rather than growth. In this
Epidemiology and the slave trade.
  • P. Curtin
  • Political Science, Medicine
    Political science quarterly
  • 1968
The mere passage of time makes it possible to go beyond the largely humanitarian concerns of the nineteenth-century writers, and accept the trade as an evil and move on to the problem of why and how it took place for so many centuries and on such a scale.
Colonial legacies and economic growth
Much of the work on colonialism has been theoretical or anecdotal. In this paper, I close the gap between the literature on development and new growth theory by testing the effect of colonization on
Geography, demography, and economic growth in Africa.
This paper presents the effects of climate, topography, and natural ecology on public health, nutrition, demographics, technological diffusion, international trade and other determinants of
Mammon and the Pursuit of Empire: The Political Economy of British Imperialism, 1860-1912
Preface 1. The British Empire and the economics of imperialism: an introductory statement 2. The export of British finance: 1865-1914 3. British business and the profits from Empire 4. Government
A History of Zambia
Zambia is one of the most important states in modern Africa. Besides being a major exporter of copper, it plays a crucial frontier role in relations between black Africa and South Africa. This book