Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez de Silanes, Andrei Shleifer, Robert Vishny, 27 July 2019

Colonisation created ‘legal families’ of laws which were substantially influenced by the origin countries. This column, taken from a Vox ebook, discusses how these legal families often exhibit substantively different legal rules and approaches, which then have a significant influence on economic outcomes.

Stelios Michalopoulos, Elias Papaioannou, 01 March 2017

The Scramble for Africa has contributed to economic, social, and political underdevelopment by spurring ethnic-tainted civil conflict and discrimination and by shaping the ethnic composition, size, shape and landlocked status of the newly independent states. This column, taken from a recent VoxEU eBook, summarises the key findings of studies that use high-resolution geo-referenced data and econometric methods to estimate the long-lasting impact of the various aspects of the Scramble for Africa.

Ewout Frankema, Jeffrey Williamson , Pieter Woltjer, 14 July 2015

The partitioning of Africa by European imperial powers in the late 19th century irreversibly transformed the long-term development trajectories of African economies. Yet, the motives for, and timing of, the scramble remain poorly understood. This column argues that the changes in African international trade over the course of the 19th century created an economic rationale for the African scramble. This episode offers insights that are relevant for current African economic development.

Elena Nikolova, 17 August 2012

Why do some states develop as democracies while others remain authoritarian? The question continues to puzzle social scientists. This column presents new data from 13 British American colonies from before the American Revolution. It shows that democratic institutions had a lot to do with the need to attract workers.

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