NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa

Stelios Michalopoulos, Elias Papaioannou

NBER Working Paper No. 17620
Issued in November 2011
NBER Program(s):   EFG   IFM   POL

We examine the long-run consequences of ethnic partitioning, a neglected aspect of the Scramble for Africa caused by the colonial border drawing, and uncover the following regularities. First, apart from the land mass and presence of water bodies, historical homelands of split and non-split groups are similar across a wealth of observable characteristics. Second, using geo-referenced data on conflict and exploiting within-country variation, we show that the incidence, severity and duration of violence are higher in the historical homelands of partitioned groups. Third, we shed some light on the mechanisms showing that military interventions from neighboring countries and conflict between government forces and rebels that aim at countering state authority are much more likely in the homelands of split groups. Fourth, our exploration of the status of ethnic groups in the political arena reveals that partitioned ethnicities are systematically discriminated from the national government and are more likely to participate in ethnic civil wars. Finally, using micro-level data we find that individuals identifying with split groups have lower access to public goods and lower education. The uncovered evidence brings in the foreground the detrimental repercussions of ethnic partitioning.

download in pdf format
   (6185 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (6185 K) or via email.

This paper was revised on March 25, 2015

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17620

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Frankel w16569 Mauritius: African Success Story
Gallup, Sachs, and Mellinger w6849 Geography and Economic Development
Michalopoulos and Papaioannou w17184 Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa
Nunn w17869 Culture and the Historical Process
Michalopoulos and Papaioannou w18224 Pre-colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us