The Persistent Effects of Peru's Mining Mita

43 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2010  

Melissa Dell

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 5, 2010

Abstract

This study utilizes regression discontinuity to examine the long-run impacts of the mita, an extensive forced mining labor system in effect in Peru and Bolivia between 1573 and 1812. Results indicate that a mita effect lowers household consumption by around 25% and increases the prevalence of stunted growth in children by around six percentage points in subjected districts today. Using data from the Spanish Empire and Peruvian Republic to trace channels of institutional persistence, I show that the mita's influence has persisted through its impacts on land tenure and public goods provision. Mita districts historically had fewer large landowners and lower educational attainment. Today, they are less integrated into road networks, and their residents are substantially more likely to be subsistence farmers.

Keywords: forced labor, land tenure, public goods

JEL Classification: H41, N26, O43

Suggested Citation

Dell, Melissa, The Persistent Effects of Peru's Mining Mita (January 5, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1596425 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1596425

Melissa Dell (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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