Robinson, James A, Simon Johnson, and Daron Acemoglu. 2005. A Response to Albouy's "A Reexamination Based on Improved Settler Mortality Data".
Abstract:In a recent comment, David Albouy claims that the data series we constructed for European settler mortality in Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2001) suffers from "inconsistencies, questionable judgements, and errors." He proposes two series, for "barracks" and "campaigns," that he claims are better measures of settler mortality, and shows his recodings weaken or eliminate the first-stage relationship between settler mortality and institutions today. In this note we show that his claims are without foundation. Our original coding of the data was not inconsistent, questionable, or erroneous. Instead, Albouy's results are entirely driven by inconsistent, incorrect, selective, and/or unreasonable revisions to our original data, particularly, but not exclusively, for Africa.