Skip to main content

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

Constructive Extraction? - Encomienda, the Colonial State, and Development in Colombia

Jean-Paul Faguet (LSE), joint with Camilo Matajira and Fabio Sánchez

Thursday 17 March 2022 12:30 - 17:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

The Spanish encomienda, a colonial forced-labor institution that lasted three centuries, killed many indigenous people and caused others to flee into nomadism. And yet we show that Colombian municipalities with encomiendas in 1560 enjoy better outcomes today across multiple dimensions of development compared to those without: higher municipal GDP per capita, tax receipts, and secondary school enrolments; lower infant mortality and unsatisfied basic needs; larger, denser populations; and superior fiscal performance and tax collection efficiency. Why? A mediation exercise using data on local institutions in 1794 shows that encomiendas affected development overwhelmingly by helping build the local state. Where they dominated, encomenderos founded local institutions early; other places remained stateless for centuries. These institutions mobilized public investment in ways that doubtless suited encomenderos, but over time spurred greater economic and human development.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 12:30-14:00, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email: l.chibwe@lse.ac.uk.

Registration is required, via our mailing list:

Please use this link to subscribe or unsubscribe to the Development Economics Work In Progress seminars mailing list (developmentwip).