Institutional Copying in the 20th Century: The Role of 14,000 British Colonial Officers

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Did individual British officers determine the institutional development of former colonies? The article presents a new research program into institutional reform and economic development based on a new dataset of 14,000 biographical entries of senior colonial officers in 54 British colonies between 1939 and 1966. The rich data permit a new methodological approach towards the question of how institutions are copied into countries. It puts a radical focus on the individual actors involved in the institutional reforms before independence. The article discusses fundamental information on the British colonial service and presents preliminary analyses from within the new research agenda.
This publication has been financed by Austrian Science Fund (FWF J3848-G28).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93 - 120
JournalJournal of Contextual Economics-Schmollers Jahrbuch
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502049 Economic history
  • 502018 Macroeconomics
  • 509003 Development cooperation

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