Pre-Colonial Warfare and Long-Run Development in India

Economic Journal, Forthcoming

82 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2020 Last revised: 11 Nov 2021

See all articles by Mark Dincecco

Mark Dincecco

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

James Fenske

University of Warwick

Anil Menon

University of Michigan

Shivaji Mukherjee

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto; Yale University

Date Written: November 11, 2021

Abstract

Does pre-colonial history – and in particular the role of interstate warfare – help explain long-run development patterns across India? To address this question, we construct a new geocoded database of historical conflicts on the Indian subcontinent. We document a robust positive relationship between pre-colonial conflict exposure and local economic development today. Drawing on archival and secondary data, we show that districts that were more exposed to precolonial conflict experienced greater early state-making, followed by lower political violence and higher investments in physical and human capital in the long term.

Keywords: Warfare, Economic Development, State Capacity, Public Goods, India, History

JEL Classification: N45, O11, P48, H11

Suggested Citation

Dincecco, Mark and Fenske, James and Menon, Anil and Mukherjee, Shivaji, Pre-Colonial Warfare and Long-Run Development in India (November 11, 2021). Economic Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3616441 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3616441

Mark Dincecco (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/umich.edu/dincecco

James Fenske

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Anil Menon

University of Michigan ( email )

Shivaji Mukherjee

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto ( email )

100 St. George St
Sidney Smith Hall
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada

Yale University ( email )

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