Spreading Civilizations: Ancient Colonialism and Economic Development Along the Mediterranean

33 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2017 Last revised: 11 Dec 2017

See all articles by Dimitris K. Chronopoulos

Dimitris K. Chronopoulos

University of St. Andrews - School of Management

Sotiris Kampanelis

University of St. Andrews

Daniel Oto‐Peralías

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

John O. S. Wilson

University of St. Andrews

Date Written: December 2017

Abstract

This paper investigates the long-term economic legacy of ancient colonialism. The Phoenicians, Greeks and Etruscans spread around the Mediterranean from the 11th to the 6th centuries BCE in an early form of colonization, transferring their superior technologies and institutions to new locations. We find that areas colonized by these civilizations are today more developed in terms of higher light density at night. The results hold when controlling for country fixed effects, across continents (i.e., Africa, Asia, and Europe), and are robust to using alternative measures and historical sources of ancient colonies. This paper’s results suggest that the more advanced civilizations that ancient colonialism spread along the Mediterranean have left a positive economic legacy still visible today. This effect has persisted over time working at the local level and despite two millennia of historical turbulence.

Keywords: Economic Development, Ancient Colonialism, History, Mediterranean

JEL Classification: C21, N93, O1

Suggested Citation

Chronopoulos, Dimitris K. and Kampanelis, Sotiris and Oto‐Peralias, Daniel and Wilson, John O. S., Spreading Civilizations: Ancient Colonialism and Economic Development Along the Mediterranean (December 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3004469 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3004469

Dimitris K. Chronopoulos

University of St. Andrews - School of Management ( email )

The Gateway
North Haugh
St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland KY16 9SS
United Kingdom

Sotiris Kampanelis

University of St. Andrews ( email )

The Gateway
North Haugh
St Andrews, Fife KY16 9RJ
United Kingdom

Daniel Oto‐Peralias (Contact Author)

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Seville

John O. S. Wilson

University of St. Andrews ( email )

North St
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

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