American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics: Vol. 6 No. 3 (July 2014)

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Persistence of Fortune: Accounting for Population Movements, There Was No Post-Columbian Reversal

Article Citation

Chanda, Areendam, C. Justin Cook, and Louis Putterman. 2014. "Persistence of Fortune: Accounting for Population Movements, There Was No Post-Columbian Reversal." American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 6(3): 1-28.

DOI: 10.1257/mac.6.3.1

Abstract

Using data on place of origin of today's country populations and the indicators of level of development in 1500 used by Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2002), we confirm a reversal of fortune for colonized countries as territories, but find persistence of fortune for people and their descendants. Persistence results are at least as strong for three alternative measures of early development, for which reversal for territories, however, fails to hold. Additional exercises lend support to Glaeser et al.'s (2004) view that human capital is a more fundamental channel of influence of precolonial conditions on modern development than is quality of institutions.

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Online Appendix (207.90 KB) | Download Data Set (159.83 KB) | Author Disclosure Statement(s) (189.67 KB)

Authors

Chanda, Areendam (LA State U)
Cook, C. Justin (U CA, Merced)
Putterman, Louis (Brown U)

JEL Classifications

J11: Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
N10: Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: General, International, or Comparative
N30: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: General, International, or Comparative
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
O43: Institutions and Growth
R11: Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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