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The long-term impact of Italian colonial roads in the Horn of Africa, 1935-2000

Bertazzini, Mattia C. (2018) The long-term impact of Italian colonial roads in the Horn of Africa, 1935-2000. Economic History working papers (272/2018). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Between 1935 and 1940 the Italians built an extensive road network to facilitate the occupation of Ethiopia and secure control over the Horn of Africa, but were expelled in 1941. This provides a unique case study to examine the long-run effect of cheap transport networks on the concentration of economic activity in developing countries. The results show that cells located next to Italian paved roads are significantly richer today and that the relationship is causal. Persistence is explained by a combination of direct and indirect mechanisms: colonial roads attracted economic activity through lower transport costs until 1960. After that date, the advantage of treated locations persisted only indirectly through increasing returns to scale.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/Economic-History
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N7 - Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services > N70 - General, International, or Comparative
N - Economic History > N7 - Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services > N77 - Africa; Oceania
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O18 - Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2018 12:39
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2018 12:39
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/87074

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