Colonial legacy, state-building and the salience of ethnicity in sub-Saharan Africa

Merima Ali, Odd Helge Fjeldstad, Boqian Jiang, Abdulaziz B Shifa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

African colonial history suggests that British colonial rule may have undermined state centralisation due to legacies of ethnic segregation and stronger executive constraints. Using micro-data from anglophone and francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa, we find that anglophone citizens are less likely to identify themselves in national terms (relative to ethnic terms). To address endo-geneity concerns, we utilise regression discontinuity by focusing on observations near anglophone– francophone borders, both across countries and within Cameroon. Evidence on taxation, security and the power of chiefs also suggests weaker state capacity in anglophone countries. These results highlight the legacy of colonial rule on state-building.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1048-1081
Number of pages34
JournalEconomic Journal
Volume129
Issue number619
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Fingerprint

State-building
Ethnic groups
Sub-Saharan Africa
Centralization
Africa
Cameroon
Taxation
State capacity
Ethnic segregation
Micro data
Regression discontinuity
Colonial history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

Colonial legacy, state-building and the salience of ethnicity in sub-Saharan Africa. / Ali, Merima; Fjeldstad, Odd Helge; Jiang, Boqian; Shifa, Abdulaziz B.

In: Economic Journal, Vol. 129, No. 619, 01.04.2019, p. 1048-1081.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ali, Merima ; Fjeldstad, Odd Helge ; Jiang, Boqian ; Shifa, Abdulaziz B. / Colonial legacy, state-building and the salience of ethnicity in sub-Saharan Africa. In: Economic Journal. 2019 ; Vol. 129, No. 619. pp. 1048-1081.
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