Curriculum vitae

Huillery Élise

Professeur associé
LEDa

elise.huilleryping@dauphinepong.fr

Publications

Articles

Huillery E. (2011), The Impact of European Settlement within French West Africa. Did pre-colonial prosperous areas fall behind?, Journal of African Economies, 20, 2, p. 263-311

Did colonization change the distribution of prosperity within French-speaking West Africa? Using a new database on both pre-colonial and colonial contexts, this paper gives evidence that Europeans tended to settle in more prosperous pre-colonial areas and that the European settlement had a strong positive impact on current outcomes, even in an extractive colonial context, resulting in a positive relationship between pre and post-colonial performances. I argue that the African hostility towards colonial power to colonisation provides a random variation in European settlement since it damaged the profitability of colonial activities and dissuaded European from settling, but does not have a direct effect on current outcomes. Rich and hostile areas received less European settlers than they would have received had they not been so hostile, resulting in lower current performances partly due to lower colonial investments. Despite the absence of a "reversal of fortune" within former French West Africa, some of the most prosperous pre-colonial areas lost their advantage because of their hostility: other areas caught up and became the new leaders in the region.

Documents de travail

Huillery E. (2006), Colonisation and Development in the Former French West Africa: The Long-term Impact of the Colonial Public Policy, DIAL Document de travail, Paris, IRD, 48

Dans quelle mesure les inégalités spatiales en Afrique de l'Ouest francophone ont-elles été influencées par la politique publique menée par les Français pendant la période coloniale ? Ce papier utilise les différences de développement entre les cercles de l'ancienne Afrique Occidentale Française (AOF) pour mettre en évidence des effets de long terme de la colonisation sur les trajectoires de développement. Les caractéristiques géographiques ainsi que l'histoire précoloniale des cercles ont été prises en compte pour corriger l'éventuelle endogénéité de la politique coloniale. J'utilise ensuite les discontinuités spatiales de la politique coloniale pour contrôler également certaines caractéristiques inobservables des cercles. Les résultats montrent que l'histoire coloniale fut un déterminant important du développement des cercles de l'ancienne AOF. La première source de discrimination spatiale fut la politique d'association des chefs africains dans l'administration coloniale, mais son effet reste ambigu : elle a joué positivement sur les performances éducatives mais négativement sur les performances de santé. La deuxième source de discrimination entre les cercles, plus importante que la première, fut la politique d'investissement en biens publics (éducation, santé, infrastructures), qui explique une part importante des inégalités de développement actuelles entre les cercles. On observe enfin que la nature des investissements importe, même à long terme : les performances actuelles dans les domaines de l'éducation, de la santé et des infrastructures sont chacune spécifiquement expliquées par l'investissement colonial « correspondant ». La politique coloniale française a donc créé des discriminations spatiales très persistantes dont les marques sont encore nettement visibles aujourd'hui.

To what extent did the colonial public policy influence the current regional inequalities in the French- speaking West Africa? This paper uses the differences in development outcomes across the areas of the former French West Africa to show the existence of colonial long term effects on development paths. To correct from potential biases, I take carefully into account the geographical and pre-colonial characteristics of the districts and use the spatial discontinuities of the colonial public policy to control for unobservable districts' characteristics. Results show that colonial history is a strong determinant of current development of the districts of the former French West Africa. First, the African chiefs' association to the colonial administration played a discriminating role between districts but its effects are ambiguous, positive on educational performances and negative on the health performances. Secondly, the colonial public investments in education, health and public works explain much of the current regional development inequalities. The nature of the public investment also matters: each type of current performance has been specifically determined by the corresponding colonial investment. The colonial public policies had thus very persistent effects and played a strong spatial discriminating role.

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