Pre-colonial institutions and socioeconomic development: The case of Latin America

Angeles, L. and Elizalde, A. (2017) Pre-colonial institutions and socioeconomic development: The case of Latin America. Journal of Development Economics, 124, pp. 22-40. (doi: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.08.006)

128869.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.



We study the effects of pre-colonial institutions on present-day socioeconomic outcomes for Latin America. Our thesis is that more advanced pre-colonial institutions relate to better socioeconomic outcomes today. We advance that pre-colonial institutions survived to our days thanks to the existence of largely self-governed Amerindian communities in rural Latin America. Amerindians groups with more advanced institutional capacity would have been able to organize and defend their interests in front of national governments; leading to better development outcomes for themselves and for the population at large. We test our thesis with a dataset of 324 sub-national administrative units covering all mainland Latin American countries. Our extensive range of controls covers factors such as climate, location, natural resources, colonial activities and pre-colonial characteristics – plus country fixed effects. Results strongly support our thesis.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Elizalde, Dr Aldo and Angeles, Professor Luis
Authors: Angeles, L., and Elizalde, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Journal of Development Economics
ISSN (Online):1872-6089
Published Online:27 August 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Journal of Development Economics 124:22-40
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record