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The Spanish Origins of Extractive Institutions in the Philippines

Australian Economic History Review

Published online on


Why did the Spanish colonisers of the Philippines establish extractive institutions? Using an explicit rational choice framework, the article examines the demand for institutions of Spanish settlers during the conquest period. It provides a framework for analysing the incentive structure faced by individuals that lead them to demand, create, and preserve certain types of institutions. The article argues that extractive institutions were demanded and supplied to minimise the uncertainty brought by high mortality and the relatively low wealth in the Philippines.