Similarly the Standard Cross Cultural Sample SCCS is a sub sample of 186

Similarly the standard cross cultural sample sccs is

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country-level centralization and state antiquity in the late nineteenth century. Similarly, the Standard Cross Cultural Sample (SCCS) is a sub-sample of 186 societies recorded in the Ethnographic Atlas for which much larger number of variables are avail- able. I have not used these in the present study, since only 28 societies in the SCCS
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12 JAMES FENSKE F IGURE 5. State antiquity and state centralization State centralization is the country-level measure of Gennaioli and Rainer (2007). State antiquity is the variable “aosnew2,” covering the period 1851-1900, based on Bockstette et al. (2002), and available on Louis Putterman’s website. The regression coefficient is 15.096, and the standard error is 4.970. There are 41 observations. T ABLE 5. Robustness: Regressions of alternative SCCS measures of states on state centralization [Table 5 here] T ABLE 6. Robustness: Alternative measures of states and diversity [Table 6 here] from sub-Saharan Africa. I can, however, show that the centralization measure I use is strongly correlated with the other measures of states coded in the SCCS. 8 For nearly thirty variables from the SCCS that capture ordinal measures of various aspects of state strength, I regress the variable on my measure of state centralization and report the re- sults in Table 5. All of these are significantly related to state centralization, whether they measure the existence of a police force, the presence of taxation, or the capacity of states to enforce their decrees. The measure used in this study, then, is a valid proxy for state strength. Second, I recode the state centralization measure into a dummy that equals one if the society has any levels of jurisdiction above the local. This may better capture state strength if, for example, it is impossible for a central authority to delegate administrative functions to regional leaders without also losing some control over them. I show in Table 6 that this measure is also positively related to ecological diversity. 8 The centralization measure is v237 in the SCCS.
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ECOLOGY, TRADE AND STATES IN PRE-COLONIAL AFRICA 13 T ABLE 7. Robustness: Estimation methods 4.2. Validity of the gains from trade measure. While ecological variation captures to some degree the presence of gains from trade, it is not clear that it is the best measure available. Bates (1983) divides societies into those that abut a divide, those that are di- verse, and those that have no significant variation. As an alternative measure of the gains from trade, I use the White (1983) map to compute the average distance (in deci- mal degrees) of all points in a group’s territory from the nearest boundary between two ecological regions. I present the results in Table 6. The statistical robustness of these results is stronger than the results obtained using ecological diversity. The results are consistent with a one standard deviation increase in the distance from an ecological di- vide raising the probability of having no levels of jurisdiction above the local by roughly 5 percentage points, with this increase coming from reductions in the probabilities that a society would have two or three levels of jurisdiction. Results using a binary indica-
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  • Spring '17
  • JAMES FENSKE

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