Essays on the political economy of 20th century colonisation and decolonisation in Africa

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The focus of this dissertation is on colonisation and decolonisation as cornerstones in the development of sub-Saharan Africa's current institutions and how these historical institutions affect current economic growth outcomes. The dissertation consists of three main chapters besides the introductory and concluding chapters. The rst main chapter considers conditions of optimality in a co-optive strategy of colonial rule. It proposes a simple model of elite formation emanating from a coloniser's quest to maximise extracted rents from its colonies... In the second main chapter, I argue that the pattern of decolonisation in West Africa was a function of the nature of human capital transfers from the colonisers to the indigenous elites of the former colonies. Underpinning the nature of these human capital transfers is the colonial educational ideology... The third main chapter investigates the channels through which colonial origin affects economic outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It focuses on four key channels of transmission namely, human capital, trade openness, market distortion and selection bias.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 133-141).