Where Local Kings Rule: Long-Term Impacts of Precolonial Institutions and Geography on Access to Public Infrastructure Services in Nigeria

March 01, 2016

Belinda Archibong


Though previous works have discussed the benefits of precolonial centralization for development in Africa, the findings and the mechanisms provided do not explain the heterogeneity in development outcomes of formerly centralized states. Using new survey data from Nigeria, I find a significant negative effect of precolonial centralization on access to certain public services for centralized regions whose leaders failed to cooperate with the autocratic military regime, and whose jurisdictions were subsequently punished by underinvestment in these public services, with lasting impacts till today. The results are robust to extensive controls and instrumenting forn precolonial centralization with an ecological diversity index.

Published in the journal World Development, September 2019: "Explaining Divergence in the Long-Term Effects of Precolonial Centralization on Access to Public Infrastructure Services in Nigeria"