Did Colonization Matter for Growth? An Empirical Exploration into the Historical Causes of Africa's Underdevelopment

Economics Working Paper 202

25 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 1997

See all articles by Graziella Bertocchi

Graziella Bertocchi

Università di Modena; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Fabio Canova

Bi norwegian business school

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Abstract

We investigate the impact of 20th--century European colonization on growth in Africa. We find that in the 1960--88 period growth has been faster for dependencies than for colonies; for British and French colonies than for Portuguese, Belgian and Italian ones; and for countries with less economic penetration during the colonial period. On average, African growth accelerates after decolonization. Proxies for colonial heritage add explanatory power to growth regressions and make indicators for human capital, political and ethnic instability lose significance. Colonial variables capture the same effects of a sub--Saharan dummy and reduce its significance when jointly included in a cross sectional regression with 98 countries.

JEL Classification: E00, O40, Q32, N10

Suggested Citation

Bertocchi, Graziella and Canova, Fabio, Did Colonization Matter for Growth? An Empirical Exploration into the Historical Causes of Africa's Underdevelopment. Economics Working Paper 202, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=35765 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.35765

Graziella Bertocchi

Università di Modena; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Rome, 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Fabio Canova (Contact Author)

Bi norwegian business school ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0484
Norway

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