Long-Term Impacts of Precolonial Institutions, Geography and Ecological Diversity on Access to Public Infrastructure Services in Nigeria
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Do precolonial institutions, geography and ecological diversity affect population access to public infrastructure services over a century later? Can local leaders from historically centralized or ‘conqueror’ groups still influence access to public goods today? Do precolonial states located in ecologically diverse environments have better access to water, power and sanitation resources today? A growing body of literature examining the sources of the current state of African economic development has cited the enduring impacts of precolonial institutions and geography on contemporary African economic development using large sample cross-sectional analysis. In this paper, I focus on within country effects of local ethnic and political state institutions on access to public infrastructure services in present day Nigeria. Specifically, I combine information on the spatial distribution of ethnic states and ecological diversity in Nigeria circa mid 19th century and political states in Nigeria circa 1785 and 1850 with information, from a novel geocoded survey dataset, on access to public infrastructure at the local government level in present day Nigeria to examine the impact of precolonial state centralization on the current unequal access to public infrastructure services in Nigeria, accounting for the effects of ecological diversity and other geographic covariates. Some preliminary results show evidence for the long-term impacts of institutions, geography and ecological diversity on access to public infrastructure in Nigeria.