Institutional Persistence and Change
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
- Chair: Daniel Berkowitz, University of Pittsburgh
Colonial Origins and the Persistence of Communal Land Ownership
AbstractLand property rights are central to economic development. In many communities, chiefs wield significant influence in land allocation. Scholars of African colonial history often emphasize the role of British colonial rule in strengthening the control of chiefs over land resources. Using micro data on a survey of adult citizens from anglophone and francophone countries Sub-Saharan Africa, we find a highly robust empirical pattern in support this thesis. Chiefs are more likely to be in charge of land allocation in anglophone countries (as compared to francophone countries). This result holds among various specifications, including discontinuity analysis focusing on observations near anglophone-francophone borders. The finding highlights the potentially persistent effects of colonial rule on contemporary land institutions.
A Positive Effect of Political Dynasties: the case of France’s 1940 enabling act
AbstractThe literature on political dynasties in democracies usually considers dynasties as a homogenous group and points out their negative effects. By contrast, we argue that political dynasties may differ according to their origin and that democratic dynasties - dynasties whose founder was a defender of democratic ideals - show a stronger support for democracy than other dynasties. This conclusion is based on the analysis of the vote by the French parliament on July 10, 1940 of an enabling act that granted full power to Marshall Philippe Pétain, thereby ending the Third French republic and aligning France with Nazi Germany. Using individual votes and newly-collected data from the biographies of the members of parliament, we observe that members of a democratic dynasty had a 7.6 to 9.0 percentage points higher probability to oppose the act than members of other political dynasties or elected representatives belonging to no political dynasty. Suggestive evidence points to the pro-democracy environment of democratic dynastic politicians as the main driver of this effect.
Historical Legacies in Savings: Evidence from Romania
Pompeu Fabra University
University of Pittsburgh
University of New South Wales
- P5 - Comparative Economic Systems
- O1 - Economic Development