Determinants and Economic Consequences of Colonization: A Global Analysis

47 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2012

See all articles by Arhan S. Ertan

Arhan S. Ertan

Brown University

Louis Putterman

Brown University - Department of Economics

Martin Fiszbein

Boston University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 15, 2012

Abstract

Research on economic growth suggests that the era of colonization has had an impact on the levels of economic development of countries around the globe. However, why some countries were colonized early, some late, and others not at all, and what effect these differences have had on current income, has not been studied systematically. In the first part of this paper, we show that both the occurrence and the timing of colonization can be explained by (a) differences in levels of pre-1500 development, (b) proximity to the colonizing powers, (c) disease environment, and (d) latitude. In the second part, we analyze the developmental consequences of colonization while taking the endogeneity of colonization’s occurrence and timing into account. Whereas naïve estimates can suggest large impacts, we find that neither the fact nor the timing of colonization affect income today once colonization’s impact on the composition of the population and the quality of institutions is controlled for.

Keywords: Colonization, Growth, Institutions, Pre-Modern Development, Migration

JEL Classification: O11, O13, O40, O57

Suggested Citation

Ertan, Arhan and Putterman, Louis G. and Fiszbein, Martin, Determinants and Economic Consequences of Colonization: A Global Analysis (August 15, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2129786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2129786

Arhan Ertan (Contact Author)

Brown University ( email )

64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
United States
8572851737 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.brown.edu/academics/economics/

Louis G. Putterman

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box B
Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-3837 (Phone)
401-863-1970 (Fax)

Martin Fiszbein

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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