Colonial Proprietary Elites and Institutions: The Persistence of De Facto Political Dominance

44 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2009

See all articles by Ali Cheema

Ali Cheema

Lahore University of Management Sciences

Shandana K Mohmand

University of Sussex - Institute of Development Studies

Manasa Patnam

CREST (ENSAE)

Date Written: July 31, 2009

Abstract

One of the central questions in political economy is whether there is path dependence in the political dominance of historic elite families in post-colonial societies. This paper uses a unique combination of household surveys, archival data and family genealogies to empirically estimate whether the political dominance of historic elite groups in the colonial period predicts local political dominance, today. This question is analyzed in the context of rural Punjab, in Pakistan, where the colonial state established institutions that granted unequal political and economic power to proprietary families and excluded non-proprietary groups. The results suggest that political dominance established 150 years ago persists in spite of the abolition of the de jure political institutions of the colonial state. We find that path dependence is the result of continuity in local village institutions. Within the sample of elite families we find that the magnitude of current land ownership impacts political dominance.

Keywords: Institutions, Political Economy

JEL Classification: O12, O17

Suggested Citation

Cheema, Ali and Mohmand, Shandana K and Patnam, Manasa, Colonial Proprietary Elites and Institutions: The Persistence of De Facto Political Dominance (July 31, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1473910 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1473910

Ali Cheema

Lahore University of Management Sciences ( email )

D.H.A, Lahore Cantt
Lahore, Punjab 54792
Pakistan

Shandana K Mohmand (Contact Author)

University of Sussex - Institute of Development Studies ( email )

Brighton
Falmer, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9RE
United Kingdom

Manasa Patnam

CREST (ENSAE) ( email )

92245 Malakoff Cedex
France

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