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Explaining divergence in the long-term effects of precolonial centralization on access to public infrastructure services in Nigeria

Belinda Archibong ()

World Development, 2019, vol. 121, issue C, 123-140

Abstract: Although the literature has discussed the benefits of precolonial centralization for development in Africa, the findings and the mechanisms provided do not explain the heterogeneity in access to public services of formerly centralized regions. Using new survey data from Nigeria, a significant negative association between precolonial centralization and access to certain public services is observed. While the mechanisms driving these patterns are complex, I use historical evidence to suggest that the negative association may be partly driven by centralized regions whose leaders failed to comply with the autocratic federal regime, and whose jurisdictions may have been subsequently punished by underinvestment in these services, with impacts lasting until today. The results are robust to extensive controls and multiple empirical tests to differentiate among alternative explanations for the finding.

Keywords: Africa; Development; Precolonial institutions; Ethnicities; Inequality; Nigeria (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O10 O43 N37 P48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.04.014

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