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October 23, 2006

Not your father's white man's burden

Think of it as field research in economic development.

In new research, James Feyrer and Bruce Sacerdote, both of Dartmouth College, consider the effect of a particular aspect of history—the length of European colonization—on the current standard of living of a group of 80 tiny, isolated islands that have not previously been used in cross-country comparisons. Their question: Are the islands that experienced European colonization for a longer period of time richer today?

And, of course, the inevitable follow-on question: Which country one would want to be colonized by if the outcome you were after was wealth and prosperity? The answer is obvious if you think about it for a moment.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at October 23, 2006 09:31 AM


Unless you're Québécois, then colonisation brought mainly insults and oppression. And the results must be undone forthwith.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 23, 2006 10:17 AM

True. And that's before they were saved by the British Empire.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 23, 2006 10:18 AM

Why do the descendents of the British Empire have such a self-esteem problem?

The problems we all recognize were worse among their contemporaries, and the things they got right, in some areas, we have regressed from...

Posted by: Ben (The Tiger in Exile) [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 11:22 AM