Research has shown a positive correlation between extractive colonisation and low post-colonial economic growth. This paper provides case study research to explore the possibility that post-colonial extractive institutions were already present in pre-colonial times. In Zambia’s case this is indeed true. Extractive institutions existed in Zambia before colonisation, and colonisation certainly did not improve on them. The question whether countries like Zambia are doomed for failure is also considered, and it is concluded that an environment that allows experimentation is supportive of economic growth and development. With an authoritative regime during the Second Republic, feedback on policy decisions was limited and may provide more of an answer to bad post-colonial economic performance than extractive colonisation.
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