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Religion, Politics, and Development: Essays in Development Economics and Political Economics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of three essays in development and political economics.

"Islamic Rule and the Emancipation of the Poor and Pious". I report new findings on the causal relationship between political Islamic control and female participation in public institutions. Using a regression discontinuity design among Turkish municipalities I show that local Islamic control increased female participation in secular education more than secular control did. One mechanism for this is increased investment by religious organizations, tailoring facilities towards the poor and pious.

"Islam and Long-Run Development". I show new cross-country evidence on the long-run impact of Islam on economic development. Using the proximity to Mecca as an instrument for the Muslim share of a country's population, I show that Islam has had a reducing long-run impact on income per capita, as well as lower female participation in public institutions. But it has also had a positive impact on several measures of female health outcomes. This emphasizes the link between lower incomes and lower female participation in public institutions, over one where Islamic influence has adverse health outcomes.

"The Rise of China and the Natural Resource Curse in Africa". In examining the economic and political consequences of Africa’s increased reliance on selling oil to China, our empirical strategy uses exogenous variation based on China's economic rise and consequent demand for oil in interaction with the pre-existence of oil in Sub-Saharan Africa. Results show that selling oil to China is unique in having large positive growth effects while not having detrimental consequences for institutions or human rights abuses.  In the case of Africa, the Chinese oil trade has served as a crucial injection in a region where growth has been chronically low, without causing detrimental consequences for political development.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Economics, Stockholm University , 2010. , 160 p.
Monograph series / Institute for International Economic Studies, University of Stockholm, ISSN 0346-6892 ; 68
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42076ISBN: 978-91-7447-110-6OAI: diva2:343848
Public defence
2010-09-23, Wallenbergsalen, hus 3, Kräftriket, Roslagsvägen 101, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2010-09-01 Created: 2010-08-16 Last updated: 2014-08-25Bibliographically approved

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