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Black man's burden, white man's welfare: control, devolution and development in the British Empire, 1880–1914


This article organizes an economic analysis of the effects of colonial rule on capital market access and development. Our insights provide an interpretation of institutional variance and growth performance across British colonies. We emphasize the degree of coercion available to British authorities in explaining alternative set-ups. White colonies, with a credible exit option, managed to secure a better deal than those where non-whites predominated, for which we find evidence of welfare losses.

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European Review of Economic History
  • ISSN: 1361-4916
  • EISSN: 1474-0044
  • URL: /core/journals/european-review-of-economic-history
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