June 06, 2014
News /
Posted by NCID

Jean-Louis Arcand, Director of the Centre for Finance and Development at the Geneva Graduate Institute, presented his newest research "Guns, Germs, and Slave: an Alternative View of the Colonial Origins of Comparative Development" as part of the Opening Session of the III Annual Development Week at the Institute for Culture and SocietyUniversity of Navarra

It's the way we colonized, not the colonization itself

Jean-Louis Arcand’s latest research examines this relationship between colonization and the legacy it has on the economics status in developing countries today. His theoretical claim argues that the current success of certain developing countries is a result of the interactions between colonizers and the indigenous people as the time of initial colonization. Their results suggests that "in countries where pre-colonial polities were largely decentralized led to establishment of institutions respective of property rights. By contrast, richer colonies with more centralized pre-colonial political systems, which, under colonial rule, experienced big population losses, were exposed to extractive types of institutions introduced by the European colonizers, which had long-term deleterious consequences for economic development," explained Arcand.

For him one of the clearest examples of his analysis can be seen today in Haïti and Dominican Republic, both sharing the same geography each having very different colonial stories and thus, economic development.

This discussion of colonization differs greatly from the conventional literature by Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2001), and ultimately brings a new and interesting perspective to the table.