British Colonial Institutions and Economic Development in India
We explore the impact of British colonial institutions on the economic development of India. In some regions, the British colonial government assigned property rights in land and taxes to landlords whereas in others it assigned them directly to cultivators or non-landlords. Although Banerjee and Iyer (2005) find that agricultural productivity of non-landlord areas diverged and out-performed relative to landlord areas after 1965 with the advent of the Green Revolution, we find evidence of superior economic performance of non-landlord regions in both the pre- and the post-independence periods. We believe that landlord and non-landlord regions diverged because their differing property rights institutions led to differences in incentives for development.