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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Development, Disparity, and Colonial Shocks: Do Endowments Matter?

  • Author(s): Khawaja, Idrees
  • et al.

The province of Punjab – home to 56 percent of Pakistan’s population, is marked by regionaldisparity. This paper argues that the socioeconomic disparity observed today between theSouth-West of Punjab and the rest of the Province is largely owed to the historical differences inregional endowments. During the colonial rule over India, the North and Center of the provincebenefitted from Canals, Cantonments (military garrisons) and enlistment in the Indian army tofight on the side of the Britain in the two world wars. These shocks rested upon endowmentsunique to the two regions. The barren but cultivable land and sparse population of the Centerfacilitated canal colonization. The geo-strategic location of the North allowed the establishmentof military headquarters and smaller garrisons in the region. The hardy men of the North,experienced in warfare since the 12th century, were suitable for the army. The South-West of thePunjab lacking the endowments of interest to the British, failed to benefit. Hence, thesocioeconomic disparity observed today.

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