Mercedes Delgado, Christian Ketels, Michael Porter, Scott Stern, Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 00:00

André Carlos Martínez, Aldo Musacchio, Martina Viarengo , Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 00:00

Institutions are known to play a powerful and enduring role in countries’ divergent levels of economic development. This column presents evidence that institutions matter for within-country inequality, too. In Brazil, changes in export prices and export tax revenues led to an increase in education spending in states that experienced commodity booms, which increased the number of schools and improved educational outcomes such as literacy rates. However, the effect was limited in states where slavery was predominant in colonial times.

Denis Cogneau, Alexander Moradi , Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 00:00

The quasi-experiment of arbitrary border design allows for causal interpretation of institutional effects across territories. This column presents evidence on the impact of British and French colonial education policies in West Africa. British flexibility and French centralisation resulted in educational attainment differences that persist – across one border – even among some cohorts of the current workforce.

Leander Heldring, James A Robinson, Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 00:00

Most of Africa spent two generations under colonial rule. This column argues that, contrary to some recent commentaries highlighting the benefits of colonialism, it is this intense experience that has significantly retarded economic development across the continent. Relative to any plausible counterfactual, Africa is poorer today than it would have been had colonialism not occurred.

Wolfgang Keller, Ben Li, Carol H Shiue, Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 00:00

The growing power of Chinese trade is almost daily news. This column argues that China’s role in world trade today is shaped in part by the post-1978 market reforms and in part by the Western invasion in the 19th century. Following the Opium Wars, China was forced to open its borders, providing the bedrock of technology and infrastructure that supported its future growth.

Santiago Sanchez-Pages, Friday, September 24, 2010 - 00:00

Are conflicts worth it? This column argues that they can be. While wars are extremely damaging, they can be in the interests of one party if they help reveal the true balance of power and thereby change the stakes in eventual negotiations. This explains why small countries take on superpowers with no chance of winning and why unions go on strike against laws already passed.

CEPR Policy Research