Interaction of technology and human capital

nation’s economic development can depend on many things. One school of thought has argued that geographical factors — meaning temperate or tropical location, supply of ready labor, level of available natural resources — are key considerations (Sachs, 2001). This argument makes sense, except when applied to Africa, where countries have the lowest per capita GDP in the world, despite having abundant resources in a variety of locales. Another school of thought places emphasis on the production function (Sharma, 2007) — meaning the availability, use, and interaction of technology and human capital. This argument fails when applied to nations in Latin America which have grown more quickly than their embrace of technology and improvement of capital alone seems to justify. A third argument gives primacy to institutions — specifically those which allow for incentives and security that support production and investment. This argument seems well-favored, as it points to a simple, central tenet of economic development: “when investors believe their property rights are protected, the economy ends up richer” (Rodrik, Subramanian, and Trebbi, 2002, p. 152). Robinson, among others, argues credibly that “The most convincing theory of comparative economic development asserts that it is institutions — the way societies are organized — that are the fundamental cause of countries’ development or underdevelopment” (510). However, if it is true that “institutions rule” (Rodrik, Subramanian, and Trebbi, 2002) what impacts those institutions?

This paper argues that the colonial legacy of the European powers plays a crucial role in determining the institutional circumstances and the consequent productive growth of developing economies. Through a consideration of the colonial legacy in the developing economies of Asia, Latin America, and Africa, an argument will be presented that current day per capita GDP in the nations in those regions is largely a result of institutional structures left behind as part of that colonial legacy. If such a case can be argued successfully, it should lend credibility to the already-building case in the research literature that before developing countries can grow through infusions of capital and integration into the world economy, attention must be paid to political and social structures which are in place.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Interaction of technology and human capital
Just from $9/Page
Order Essay

Colonialism and Its Lasting Institutional Impact

In this section a variety of studies which show how colonialism resulted in different institutional legacies will be reviewed in an effort to lay the groundwork for the analysis to come.

Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2002) review 500 years of history, from the 1500s to the 20th century to show how the European powers’ colonizing efforts took different approaches in places as diverse as (what are now called) the Indian subcontinent, Latin America, and North America. They argue, specifically, that in places where there were already well-established economic and political institutions in well-populated areas (such as in India and Latin America), the European powers concerned themselves only with bringing in enough force and administration to set up extractive operations. Europeans relied on forced labor and local infrastructures in such cases in order to expropriate the natural resources they sought. In North American colonies and Australia, on the other hand, the Europeans established integrated institutions and infrastructure programs to obtain resources because the societies they found in these areas were less densely populated and more loosely organized. The result of these different institutional approaches was a “reversal of fortune” between the regions affected, with North American and Australian colonies found poorer when colonialism began but richer in later development after having benefited from institutions left behind, while India and Latin America were richer when colonies were established, but took longer to build institutions suitable for economic take off once the colonizers left. In a study with a similar thesis, Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2001) argue that in places where Europeans faced higher mortality rates, such as equatorial Africa, they established merely extractive operations and institutions, while in North America and elsewhere they established institutions built around the rule of law because they expected to settle there longer, with a result having the same effects. The point of both of these studies is that those former colonies which were administered with merely extractive intentions — such as those found in Latin America and Africa — did not benefit from the establishment of institutional and infrastructural development on the part of the colonizers, a result which may well have depressed later opportunities for economic growth.

Banerjee and Iyer (2002) use a different analysis framework to consider the institutional legacy of colonialism. They review data from the British colony in India to determine where the institutional structures left behind by the British seemed to work toward growth and where they failed. They found that in those areas where power was concentrated in the hands of a minority elite landlord class, growth remained slow for decades after the British left. However, in those areas where the people who cultivated the land were given more power, growth was faster to take off. Angeles (2007) offered a similar analysis to show that in those colonies where there was significant European settlement in the colonized territories such as across Latin America, a legacy of lasting inequality resulted due to concentration of power and land in the hands of those who remained behind when the colonizers left. Where there were few European settlers relative to the local population, as in many Asian colonies, the land rights tended to stay in the hands of the local population and inequalities were not as great. Engerman and Sokoloff (2005) found that where such inequalities were established early in the independent life of formerly colonized nations, they had persistent effects in restricting access to the resources and economic opportunities that were necessary to drive investment and growth.

A final type of analysis reviewed here suggested that in those regions where the British were the primary colonizers, the institutional legacies were more conducive to growth and development than in those colonies belonging to other European powers. This thesis was supported by a study conducted by Lee and Shulz (n.d.), which found that in sections of Cameroon formerly ruled by the French, growth was limited as a result of that nation’s colonial institutional conditioning while in the section formerly ruled by the British, growth was faster. A supportive study was conducted by Lange (2003) who found that in colonies where the British ruled directly, ultimate growth was greater than in those where British rule was indirect. The explanation for this seems to be that the British emphasized the rule of law, land-ownership rights, and other institutional factors which were more conductive to growth than the merely exploitative values held by other colonizers. While these studies point out that this effect can be complicated by a number of other factors, such as post-colonial policy, the important consideration here is that the institutional legacy of the British — characterized in its best form by the protection of land rights and its emphasis on the rule of law, political checks and balances, and the like — left an impact on the colonies formerly under its rule that was either more or less conducive to growth depending on the extent to which it adhered to the best ideals of those institutional goals.

Current Day GDP and the link to Colonialism’s Institutional Legacy

In the previous section, the literature was reviewed to show that European colonialism has had a lasting legacy characterized, at least in part, by an extractive philosophy in Africa and Latin America that destroyed pre-colonial institutions while preventing establishment of beneficial new ones. Additionally, the literature shows that where power is concentrated in the hands of a few, such as in India and Latin America, inequalities restrict economic growth and opportunity. Finally, in places where the better values espoused by the British, including the rule of law and property rights were more directly enforced, growth should be greater. For the remainder of this paper, a consideration of the three regions which are the subject of this paper will be made to determine if their GDPpc corresponds with expectations generated by this analysis. Economic Data and commentary are taken from the CIA World Factbook and World Bank regional briefs.

Africa. Of the 40 countries in the world with the lowest per capita GDP, 30 are located on the continent of Africa. They include even resource rich nations such as Burundi, Uganda and Ghana. The annual per capita GDP of these least-developed nations range from $200 in Zimbabwe to $1,700 in Cote D’Ivoire. Development is restricted by the lack of institutional stability and enforceable property rights, among other factors. The World Bank makes a telling analysis of the region in pointing that growth in the past decade was driven by increases in commodity prices, and that this development “was accompanied by” political stability and accountability. Due to the institutional legacy of colonialism, the political environment is not yet capable of leading growth.

Latin America. Countries in this region are generally grouped in the middle of the pack among the nations of the world in terms of GDPpc. Citizens in the region’s poorest countries, Paraguay and Honduras, make just above $4,000 per year, while those in the wealthiest countries, Chile and Mexico, make almost $15,000. The institutional legacy in the region is one clouded by inequality and corruption. In its brief on the region, the World Bank emphasizes the role of institutional development to alleviate poverty among vulnerable groups, a result in part of the lasting legacy of inequality due to colonial influences.

Asia. This region ranges widely from very poor nations such as Nepal (GDPpc of $1,100) to very wealthy nations like Singapore ($51,600). Because colonial dominance of this region was carried out by a relatively few European settlers, it was ultimately incomplete, leaving many of the region’s own institutions intact or enhanced. The World Bank’s comments on how governments across the region are reacting to the recent economic turndown are in line with an expectation that institutional factors in the region are stronger and more integrated with popular controls.

A Better Legacy. Appendix 1 presents the findings of a study done by the International Property Rights Index. This chart shows that, as expected from the discussion above, where property rights are secured, development and growth is higher. This suggests that there are possibilities for a better legacy to colonialism, one built on the best ideals of the once powerful European rulers. However, these ideas can only be achieved and subsequent growth realized through the improvement of institutions which were left behind when the colonizers departed.

Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., and Robinson, J. (2001). “The colonial origins of comparative development: an empirical investigation.” American Economic Review 91 (5): 1369-1401.

Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., and Robinson, J. (2002). “Reversal of fortune: geography and institutions in the making of the modern world income distribution.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 117(4): 1231-1294.

Angeles, L. (2007). “Income inequality and colonialism.” European Economic Review 51: 1155-1176.

Banerjee, A., and Iyer, L. (2005). “History, institutions, and economic performance: the legacy of colonial land tenure systems in India.” American Economic Review 95(4): 1190-1213.

Central Intelligence Agency. (2009). The World Factbook. December 12, 2009. Retrieved from

Engerman, S., and Sokoloff, K. (2005, January). Colonialism, inequality, and long-run development, National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 11057, December 12, 2009. Retrieved from

International Property Rights Index. (2009). December 12, 2009. Retrieved from

Lange, M. (2004) “British colonial legacies and political development.” World Development 32(6): 905-922.

Lee, A., and Schulz, K. (n.d.) Comparing British and French colonial legacies: a discontinuity analysis of Cameroon. University of California at Los Angeles. December 10, 2009. Retrieved from

Robinson, J. (2002). “States and power in Africa by Jeffery I. Herbst: a review essay.” Journal of Economic Literature 40(2): 510-519.

Rodrik, D., Subramanian, A., and Trebbi, F. (2004). “Institutions rule: the primacy of institutions over geography and integration in economic development.” Journal of Economic Growth 9 (2): 131-165.

Sachs, Jeffrey D. (2001, February). “Tropical underdevelopment” NBER Working Paper No. w8119.

Sharma, H. (2007, August). Sources of Economic Growth in China, 1952-1998. Issues in Political Economy, Vol 17.

World Bank. (2009). Regional Briefs. December 13, 2009. Retrieved from

Appendix 1

Relation Between IPRI and GDP Per Capita by Region

Source: International Property Rights Index, 2009. (

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment Help Service Works

1. Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2. Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3. Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4. Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essay GET A PERFECT SCORE!!! smile and order essay Buy Custom Essay

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
Open chat
Need assignment help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp using +1 718 717 2861

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.
  +1 718 717 2861           + 44 161 818 7126           [email protected]
  ++1 718 717 2861         [email protected]