Alexander Moradi (University of Sussex, U.K.) History, Path Dependence and Development: Evidence from Colonial Railroads, Settlers and Cities in Kenya

On June 26th, Alexander Moradi, Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex, will give a lecture at the Rural and Environmental History group.

Organised by Rural and Environmental History

Thu 26 June 2014 12:30 to 14:00

Venue Leeuwenborch, gebouwnummer 201
Room C68

Remi Jedwab, Edward Kerby and Alexander Moradi


Little is known about the extent and forces of urban path dependence in developing countries. Railroad construction in colonial Kenya provides a natural experiment to study the emergence and persistence of this spatial equilibrium. Using new data at a fine spatial level over one century shows that colonial railroads causally determined the location of European settlers, which in turn decided the location of the main cities of the country at independence. Railroads declined and settlers left after independence, yet cities persisted. Their early emergence served as a mechanism to coordinate investments in the post-independence period, yielding evidence for how path dependence influences development.

You can find more information about Alexander Moradi here.