Why Did Botswana End Up with Good Institutions: The Role of Culture and Colonial Rule.

33 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2017

See all articles by Valentin Seidler

Valentin Seidler

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 18, 2010

Abstract

Botswana has achieved astonishing economic success and an impressive record of institutions that distinguishes it from many other African countries. This article examines the reasons for Botswana’s strong institutional setup, which is considered fundamental to the country’s economic success since independence. To do so, it will utilize the analytical framework provided by institutional economics. The article argues that Botswana ended up with better institutions than most of ist African counterparts for three reasons: a) Pre-colonial Tswana culture comprised a number of informal institutions which were useful for creating a modern state. Most strikingly, the chiefs’ powers were restrained and the political elite pursued strong economic interests. b) “Light” colonial rule by the British largely left Tswana institutions in place. c) Tswana institutions were successfully merged with modern institutions many of which modelled on European examples.

Keywords: Africa, Botswana, institutions

JEL Classification: N97, O17, O43

Suggested Citation

Seidler, Valentin, Why Did Botswana End Up with Good Institutions: The Role of Culture and Colonial Rule. (June 18, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3051011 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3051011

Valentin Seidler (Contact Author)

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
D4
A-1020 Wien
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.wu.ac.at/vw1/m/dr-valentin-seidler-ba

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