Health Accounting in 124 Colonised Countries

8 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2020

Date Written: March 20, 2020


Using a cross-section of 124 colonised countries, we evaluate the effect of the European share of the colonial population on human development as measured by life expectancy, fertility rate, and infant mortality rate. We find that European colonial settlement is positively related to life expectancy and negatively associated with both fertility and infant mortality rates. We show that 17.4% of life expectancy, 1.5% of the fertility rate, and 3% of the decline in infant mortality rate currently being enjoyed by non-Europe countries can be linked to their contacts with European settlers during colonisation.

Keywords: History, European colonial population, human development

JEL Classification: B15, I15, J10

Suggested Citation

Oyekola, Olayinka, Health Accounting in 124 Colonised Countries (March 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Olayinka Oyekola (Contact Author)

University of Exeter INTO ( email )

Stocker Rd
Exeter, EX4 4PY
United Kingdom


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