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Size Matters: The Effect of the Scramble for Africa on Informal Institutions and Development

Dimico, Arcangelo (2013): Size Matters: The Effect of the Scramble for Africa on Informal Institutions and Development.

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Abstract

We argue that the partition of ethnic groups following the Scramble for Africa does not itself matter for development in Africa. It matters only when the partitioned groups are relatively small because small groups lack political representation which may promote ethnic mobilization and foster support for informal (rather than formal) institutions which then may affect development. Furthermore, the analysis of data from the Afrobarometer shows that the persistence of informal/tribal institutions related to property rights and the rule of law is one of the possible channels through which the size of the partitioned group affects development.

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