Economia política da colonização


Matthias Doepke & Andrea Eisfeldt

In many developing countries, the institutional framework governing economic life has its roots in the colonial period, when the interests of European settlers clashed with those of the native population or imported slaves. We examine the economic implications of this conflict in a framework where institutions are represented by the number of people with property-rights protection, i.e., “gun owners.” In the model, gun owners can protect their own property, they can exploit others who do not own guns, and they may decide to extend property rights by handing out guns to previously unarmed people. The theory generates a “reversal of fortune” between colonies with many and few oppressed: income per capita is initially highest in colonies with many oppressed that can be exploited by gun owners, but later on excessive concentration of economic power becomes a hindrance for development.

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