Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: Evidence from the Partition of Cameroon

  • Yannick Dupraz (a1)

Abstract

Cameroon was partitioned between France and the United Kingdom after WWI and then reunited after independence. I use this natural experiment to investigate colonial legacies in education, using a border discontinuity analysis of historical census microdata from 1976. I find that men born in the decades following partition had, all else equal, one more year of schooling if they were born in the British part. This positive British effect disappeared after 1950, as the French increased education expenditure, and because of favoritism in school supply towards the Francophone side after reunification. Using 2005 census microdata, I find that the British advantage resurfaced more recently: Cameroonians born after 1970 are more likely to finish high school, attend a university, and have a high-skilled occupation if they were born in the former British part. I explain this result by the legacy of high grade repetition rates in the French-speaking education system and their detrimental effect on dropout.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: Evidence from the Partition of Cameroon
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: Evidence from the Partition of Cameroon
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: Evidence from the Partition of Cameroon
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All

I conducted part of this research as a Ph.D. candidate at Paris School of Economics with funding from the French Ministry of Research and Higher Education and the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (Afristory project). I also benefitted from a one-year scholarship from Aix-Marseille School of Economics. I want to thank Pierre André, Gareth Austin, Yasmine Bekkouche, Asma Benhenda, Denis Cogneau, Emma Duchini, Esther Duflo, Andy Ferrara, James Fenske, Ewout Frankema, Leigh Gardner, Kenneth Houngbedji, Elise Huillery, Martin Mba, Alexander Moradi, Samuel Nouetagni, Anne-Sophie Robillard, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, Léa Rouanet, Seyhun Orcan Sakalli, Jacob Tatsitsa, Joseph-Pierre Timnou, Lara Tobin, Katia Zhuravskaya, and the participants of seminars at Paris School of Economics, Utrecht University, London School of Economics and Aix-Marseille School of Economics. I also want to thank two anonymous referees for their useful suggestions.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
A’Hearn, Brian, Baten, Jörg, and Crayen, Dorothee. “Quantifying Quantitative Literacy: Age Heaping and the History of Human Capital.” Journal of Economic History 69, no. 3 (2009): 783808.
Ali, Merima, Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge, Boqian, Jiang, et al. “Colonial Legacy, State-Building and the Salience of Ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Economic Journal (forthcoming).
Amaazee, Victor Bong. “The ‘Igbo scare’ in the British Cameroons.” Journal of African History 31 (1990): 281–93.10.1017/S0021853700025044
Austin, Gareth. “The ‘Reversal of Fortune’ Thesis and the Compression of History: Perspective from African and Comparative Economic History.” Journal of International Development 20 (2008): 9961027.10.1002/jid.1510
Bates, Robert H. Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policies. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.
Becker, Sascha O., and Woessmann, Ludger. “Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 124, no. 2 (2009): 531–96.10.1162/qjec.2009.124.2.531
Benavot, Aaron, and Riddle, Phyllis. “The Expansion of Primary Education, 1870–1940: Trends and Issues.” Sociology of Education 61, no. 3 (1988): 191210.
Bernard, Jean-Marc, Simon, Odile, and Vianou, Katia. Le redoublement : mirage de l’école africaine? Dakar: Programme d’analyse des systèmes éducatifs de la CONFEMEN, 2005.
Brown, David S.Democracy, Colonization, and Human Capital in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Studies in Comparative International Development 35, no. 1 (2000): 2040.
Brownlie, Ian. African Boundaries — A Legal and Diplomatic Encyclopædia. London, Berkeley and Los Angeles: C. Hurst & Co. and the University of California Press, 1979.
Buell, Raymond L. The Native Problem in Africa. Vol. 2. New York: Macmillan, 1928.
Cagé, Julia, and Rueda, Valeria. “The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 8, no. 3 (2016): 6999.
Calonico, Sebastian, Cattaneo, Matias D., and Titiunik, Rocio. “Robust Nonparametric Confidence Intervals for Regression-Discontinuity Designs.” Econometrica 82, no. 6 (2014): 2295–326.10.3982/ECTA11757
Cameroun, . Budget du Cameroun. Yaoundé, various dates.
Cattaneo, Matias D., Idrobo, Nicolás, and Titiunik, Rocio. “A Practical Introduction to Regression Discontinuity Designs: Volume I.” In Quantitative and Computational Methods for Social Science, edited by Alvarez, R. M. and Beck, N.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
Chem-Langhee, Bongfen. The Kamerun Plebiscites 1959–1961: Perceptions and Strategies. Ph.D. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1976.
Cogneau, Denis. “Colonization, School and Development in Africa: An Empirical Analysis.” Working Paper DT/2003/01, DIAL and Paris School of Economics, Paris, France, 2003.
Cogneau, Denis, Dupraz, Yannick, and Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine. “Fiscal Capacity and Dualism in Colonial States: The French Empire 1830–1962.” PSE Working Papers 2017–27, Paris School of Economics, Paris, France, 2018.
Cogneau, Denis, and Moradi, Alexander. “Borders that Divide: Education and Religion in Ghana and Togo since Colonial Times.” Journal of Economic History 74, no. 3 (2014): 694728.10.1017/S0022050714000576
Cooper, Frederick. Africa Since 1940: The Past of the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.10.1017/CBO9780511800290
Dell, Melissa. “The Persistent Effects of Peru’s Mining Mita.” Econometrica 78, no. 6 (2010): 1863–903.
Deltombe, Thomas, Domergue, Manuel, and Tatsitsa, Jacob. Kamerun!, Une Guerre Cachée aux Origines de la Françafrique, 1948–1971. Paris: La Découverte, 2011.
Dupraz, Yannick. “Replication: French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: Evidence from the Partition of Cameroon.” Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2019-07-04. https://doi.org/10.3886/E110542V1.
Fafunwa, A Babs. History of Education in Nigeria. London: G. Allen and Unwin, 1974.
Fajana, Adewunmi. Education in Nigeria, 1842–1939: An Historical Analysis. Nigeria: Longman, 1978.
Fonkeng, George E. The History of Education in Cameroon, 1844–2004. Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2007.
France, Ministère des Colonies. Rapport à la S.D.N. sur l’administration sous mandat des territoires du Cameroun. Paris, 1921–1938.
France, Ministère des Colonies. Rapport annuel du Gouvernement français à l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies sur l’administration du Cameroun placé sous la tutelle de la France. Paris, 1921–1938.
Frankema, Ewout. “The Origins of Formal Education in Sub-Saharan Africa — Was British Rule More Benign?” European Review of Economic History 16 (2012): 335–55.
Garnier, Maurice, and Schafer, Mark. “Educational Model and Expansion of Enrollments in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Sociology of Education 79, no. 2 (2006): 153–75.
Geschiere, Peter. “Chiefs and Colonial Rule in Cameroon: Inventing Chieftaincy, French and British Style.” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 63, no. 2 (1993): 151–75.
Gifford, Prosser, and Louis, Wm. Roger, eds. Britain and Germany in Africa: Imperial Rivalry and Colonial Rule. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1967.
Gifford, Prosser, and Louis, Wm. Roger. France and Britain in Africa: Imperial Rivalry and Colonial Rule. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1971.
Gifford, Prosser, and Weiskel, Timothy C.. “African Education in a Colonial Context: French and British Styles.” In France and Britain in Africa: Imperial Rivalry and Colonial Rule, edited by Gifford, P. and Louis, W. R., 663711. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1971.
Glaeser, Edward L., Porta, Rafael La, Silanes, Florencio Lopez-de, et al. “Do Institutions Cause Growth?” Journal of Economic Growth 9, no. 3 (2004): 271303.
Great Britain, Colonial Office. Report by H.M. Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of the British Cameroons. London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1922–1938.
Great Britain, Colonial Office. Report by H.M. Government in the United Kingdom to the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Administration of the Cameroons under United Kingdom Trusteeship. London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1949–1959.
Grier, Robin M.Colonial Legacies and Economic Growth.” Public Choice 98 (1999): 317–35.
Heckman, James J., and Pinto, Rodrigo. “Econometric Mediation Analyses: Identifying the Sources of Treatment Effects from Experimentally Estimated Production Technologies with Unmeasured and Mismeasured Inputs.” Econometric Reviews 34, no. 1–2 (2015): 631.
Huillery, Elise. “History Matters: The Long-Term Impact of Colonial Public Investments in French West Africa.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 1, no. 2 (2009): 176215.
Imai, Kosuke, Keele, Luke, Tingley, Dustin, et al. “Unpacking the Black Box of Causality: Learning about Causal Mechanisms from Experimental and Observational Studies.” American Political Science Review 105, no. 4 (2011): 765–89.
Jacob, Brian A., and Lefgren, Lars. “The Effect of Grade Retention on High School Completion.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 1, no. 3 (2009): 3358.
Kiszweski, Anthony, Mellinger, Andrew, Spielman, Andrew, et al. “A Global Index Representing the Stability of Malaria Transmission.” American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 70, no. 5 (2004): 486–98.
La Porta, Rafael, Silanes, Florencio Lopez-de, Shleifer, Andrei, et al. “Law and Finance.” Journal of Political Economy 106, no. 6 (1998): 1113–55.
Porta, La, Rafael, Florencio Silanes, Lopez-de, Shleifer, Andrei, et al. “The Quality of Government.” Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 15, no. 1 (1999): 222–79.
Landes, David S. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
Le Vine, Victor T. The Cameroons: From Mandate to Independence. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964.
Lee, Alexander, and Schultz, Kenneth A.. “Comparing British and French Colonial Legacies: A Discontinuity Analysis of Cameroon.” Quarterly Journal of Political Science 7, no. 4 (2012): 365410.10.1561/100.00011022
Lipton, Michael. Why Poor People Stay Poor: Urban Bias in World Development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977.
London and Cambridge Economic Service and Alford, R.. The British Economy: Key Statistics, 1900–1970. Times Newspapers, 1973.
Louis, Wm. Roger. Great Britain and Germany’s Lost Colonies, 1914–1919. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967.
Mair, Lucy P. Native Policies in Africa. London: Routledge, 1936.
Majgaard, Kirsten, and Mingat, Alain. Education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2012.
Manacorda, Marco. “The Cost of Grade Retention.” Review of Economics and Statistics 94, no. 2 (2012): 596606.
McCauley, John F., and Posner, Daniel N.. “African Borders as Sources of Natural Experiments: Promise and Pitfalls.” Political Science Research and Methods 3, no. 2 (2015): 409–18.
McCrary, Justin. “Manipulation of the Running Variable in the Regression Discontinuity Design: A Density Test.” Journal of Econometrics 142 (2008): 698714.
Murdock, George P. Africa: Its Peoples and their Culture History. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959.
Ndaruhutse, Susy, Branelly, Laura, Latham, Michael, et al. Grade Repetition in Primary Schools in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Evidence Base for Change. United Kingdom: CfBT Education Trust Reading, 2008.
Ngoh, Victor Julius. Cameroon, 1884–1985: A Hundred Years of History. Navi-Group, 1987.
Ngoh, Victor Julius. Southern Cameroons, 1922–1961: A Constitutional History. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001.
North, Douglass C.Institutions and Economic Growth: An Historical Introduction.” World Development 17, no. 9 (1989): 1319–32.
Nunn, Nathan. “The Importance of History for Economic Development.” Annual Review of Economics 1, no. 1 (2009): 6592.
Nunn, Nathan. “Religious Conversion in Colonial Africa.” American Economic Review 100, no. 2 (2010): 147–52.
Nzima Nzima, Valery. Health Sector Strategy and Economic Development in Cameroon: History, Challenges and Perspectives. Master’s thesis, Georgia State University, 2014.
OECD. “Programme International Pour le Suivi des Acquis des Elèves (PISA), Note par Pays: France.” Note OECD, 2012.
Perham, Margery. Colonial Sequence, 1930–1949: A Chronological Commentary upon British Colonial Policy Especially in Africa. London: Methuen, 1967.
Schlunk, Martin. Die Schulen für Eingeborene in den deutschen Schutzgebieten am 1. Juni 1911. Hamburg: L. Friedrichsen & Co., 1914.
Tardits, Claude. Le Royaume Bamoum. Number 37 in Publications de la Sorbonne. Paris: A. Colin, 1980.
Tsoata, Felix. La scolarisation dans les Bamboutos (Ouest-Cameroun) de 1909 à 1968, étude historique. Master’s thesis, Université de Yaoundé I, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 1999.
Villa, Pierre. Séries macroéconomiques historiques: méthodologie et analyse économique. Insee Méthodes no. 62–63, 1997.
Wantchekon, Leonard, Marko, Klašnja, and Novta, Natalija. “Education and Human Capital Externalities: Evidence from Colonial Benin.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 130, no. 2 (2015): 703–57.
Woodberry, Robert D. The Shadow of Empire: Christian Missions, Colonial Policy, and Democracy in Postcolonial Societies. Ph.D. thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004.
World Bank. “Rapport d’Etat du Système Education National Camerounais: Eléments de diagnostic pour la politique éducative dans le contexte de l’EPT et du DSRP.” Technical report, 2003.
Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Dupraz supplementary material
Online Appendix

 Word (6.1 MB)
6.1 MB

French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: Evidence from the Partition of Cameroon

  • Yannick Dupraz (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed