Most of the widely used indicators of institutions have been criticized because of a lack of objectivity in their construction and because they cover only short time periods, especially for African countries. New indicators of de jure land property rights, de jure political rights and civil liberties, and de facto political instability over a long time horizon have recently been launched for a number of former British colonies in Africa, using the leximetrics method to quantify legal information. This article proposes comparable indicators of institutions for a former French colony in Africa, Senegal. De jure indicators are coded on the basis of written regulations, laws, and constitutions for the period 1819–2010. Our de facto measure of political instability is based on reported events collected from different sources. Data over such a long time horizon provide an opportunity to understand Senegal’s development path from the early stages of its colonization until today.

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