The European Origins of Economic Development

European colonialism involved atrocities for the indigenous people who lived on the land on which Europeans settled. It follows that the effects of colonialism would persist hundreds of years later. One way to look at the effects of this history is to analyze the relationship between economic outcomes today and the intensity of European settlement during the colonial era. Europeans brought oppressive regimes and often set up institutions that were designed to extract wealth from the native population. But they also brought technologies and institutions that may be conducive to economic growth. So what can history tell us about how this tradeoff ended up centuries later? On this episode, we talk with William Easterly of New York University and Ross Levine of the University of California, Berkeley to find out a little more about the lasting effects of European colonialism.

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