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ScholarOne - The Colonial Origin of Population Resettlement: Evidence from Manchuria
  • Harunobu Saijo,
  • Crystal Xu,
  • Anna Zhang
Harunobu Saijo
Duke University

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Crystal Xu
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Anna Zhang
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Abstract

Why do post-colonial states engage in population resettlement in their frontier territories? In this paper, we shift away from the motivations for resettlement by advancing a cost-centric theory for resettlement. We contend that states may use the resettlement policy because they inherit the infrastructural capital to do so from settlers of former colonial powers seeking to consolidate their frontiers. We test the observable implications of the theory using a unique geo-coded archival dataset and in Manchuria, a northeastern border region of China. We find that areas that received more Japanese settlers during the colonial period (1931-45) are associated with greater proximity to Chinese settlers in the post-colonial era (1945-). We also show that, contrary to existing findings on settlement and growth, Japanese settlements led to slower economic development. By focusing on cost our paper expands our understanding of resettlement policies and uncovers an alternative relationship between settlement and economic development.
27 Feb 2024Submitted to Advance
29 Feb 2024Published in Advance