No doubt, institutions are central to economic and social development, and history provides many examples showing that they have a tendency to be persistent. Nevertheless, several issues remain to be settled before conclusions can be drawn about how colonial institutions interact with long-term development dynamics.
The concept of extraction gives rise to many questions. What does it mean and how can it be measured? How does it influence the development process over time? To what extent is it reasonable to infer a causal link to current economic performance from the set-up of institutions often established centuries ago? And how do extractive institutions relate to factor endowments (mainly man to land ratios)? These questions are studied in Montserrat López Jerez’ doctoral dissertation “Deltas Apart – Factor Endowments, Colonial Extraction and Pathways of Agricultural Development in Vietnam”, summarized in this Development Dissertation Brief.