Most people agree that the subjugation and subsequent domination by one country of another is a bad thing. This simple moral question has obscured a deeper understanding of the nature and impact of colonialism. The bigger question is whether studying the colonial experience helps us to understand centuries of economic growth and their manifestation in contemporary global economic inequalities? This chapter explores various accounts of the influences and impact of colonialism. Acemoglu et al.’s settler/extractive typology is too crude, as case studies of colonialism in India, Korea, and Nigeria demonstrate. Although Marxist thought has long since disappeared from mainstream economic discussion, it offers a rich seam of academic writing and analysis that illuminates the impact of colonialism. The key thematic debates about the impact of colonialism on development in the colonies are the drain of surplus, deindustrialization, diversity and isolation, and human development.
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- Chapter 9