Long-term effects of the Inca Road
The Inca Empire was the last of a long series of highly developed cultures in pre-colonial South America. It stretched across parts of the current territories of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and the whole of Peru. The Inca Road was its 30,000-kilometer-long transportation system. The aim of this study is to identify its long-term impact on current development in Peru. Our results show that the long-run effect of the Inca Road includes increases in wages and educational attainment, a reduction of child malnutrition and an increase in children’s mathematics test scores. We also find that these effects are around 20% greater for women and explore the mechanisms that may account for this pattern.
The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.