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How did British colonial rule alter the relationships between African citizens and their governments?  What are the causes of corruption and bad governance? Join us for a seminar on 13 November with Dr. Liya Palagashvili, Assistant Professor of Economics at the State University of New York, Purchase College.

About the Talk:

This paper analyzes how British colonial rule altered the club-like and competitive features of chiefdoms and weakened the incentives of political leaders to be accountable to citizens. Political institutions in late pre-colonial West Africa aligned the incentives of the chiefs such that they were responsive to their people. Alignment arose because of a high degree of competition between governance providers and because political leaders were effectively the residual claimants on revenues generated from providing governance services. I identify the mechanisms by which colonialism severed the link that aligned the incentives of government with those of its citizens. British indirect rule did that by reducing political competition and softening the budget constraints of the chiefs. Toward the end of colonial rule, chiefs became less accountable to their people as evidenced by the widespread corruption and extortion by the chiefs and by their unprecedented constitutional violations and abuses of power.

 About the Speaker:

Liya Palagashvili’s research is broadly in law and economics, political economy, development economics, regulation, and entrepreneurship. She has written on topics relating to labor regulations, entrepreneurship, foreign aid agency rankings and aid effectiveness, self-governing communities, culture and transitional economies in Eastern Europe, federalism, and community policing. Currently, she is conducting interviews with tech entrepreneurs and creating a unique survey to examine early tech start-ups and the regulatory framework in their industries, as well as co-authoring a book that analyzes the policies in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

Liya is also the Law and Economics Fellow with the Classical Liberal Institute at New York University School of Law and a Senior Fellow with the Fraser Institute. She earned her PhD in economics from George Mason University in 2015, and while in graduate school, she was also a Visiting PhD Fellow with the Department of Economics at New York University. 

She has published in academic journals such as the History of Political EconomyJournal of Institutional Economics, Supreme Court Economic Review, and the Journal of Law, Economics, and Policy, among others. Liya has also published in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, MSNYahoo FinanceU.S. News and World Report, and Orange County Register, among others. In 2016, Liya was named one of the Forbes “30 under 30” in Law & Policy.