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Further Evidence on the Link between Pre-Colonial Political Centralization and Comparative Economic Development in Africa

Stelios Michalopoulos () and Elias Papaioannou ()

No 10258, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We examine the link between pre-colonial statehood and contemporary regional African development, as reflected in satellite images on light density at night. We employ a variety of historical maps to capture the former. Our within-country analysis reveals a strong positive correlation between pre-colonial political centralization and contemporary development (and urbanization). If anything, the association strengthens when we account for measurement error on the historical maps of pre-colonial political organization.

Keywords: Africa; development; ethnicity; institutions; state capacity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O10 O40 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-evo, nep-gro, nep-his and nep-pol
Date: 2014-11
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Journal Article: Further evidence on the link between pre-colonial political centralization and comparative economic development in Africa (2015) Downloads
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