Pre‐colonial ethnic institutions and contemporary African development

Econometrica Vol/Iss. 81(1) Blackwell Publishing Ltd Published In Pages: 113-152
By Michalopoulos, Stelios, Papaioannou, Elias


Political centralization among pre-colonial African ethnic institutions is positively associated with contemporary regional development (114).


The authors use several geographic controls, as well as several measures of pre-colonial political centralization (including jurisdictional hierarchy p < 0.05 r = 0.15, binary political centralization p < 0.05 r = 0.29, presence of petty chiefdoms p > 0.10, presence of paramount chiefdoms p > 0.10, and presence of pre-colonial states p < 0.05 r = 0.47) and various delineations of ethnic homeland boundaries in order to rigorously validate their results.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regressionSupportedp < 0.05r = 0.1493UNKNOWN