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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this article, we evaluate the impact of colonialism on development in sub-Saharan Africa. In the world context, colonialism had very heterogeneous effects, operating through many mechanisms—sometimes encouraging development, sometimes retarding it. In the African case, however, this heterogeneity is muted, making an assessment of the average effect more interesting. To draw conclusions, it is necessary to know not just what actually happened to development during the colonial period but also what might have happened without colonialism and its legacy. In light of plausible counterfactuals, colonialism probably had a uniformly negative effect on development in Africa. To develop this claim, we distinguish between three sorts of colonies, each with a distinct performance within the cultural period, different counterfactuals, and varied legacies.

Keywords: Sub Saharan Africa, Colonialism, colonies, economic development, counterfactuals, settlers, state formation, Agriculture

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