There are a lot of papers in the “history only happened once” genre, where somebody examines an event that happened hundreds of years ago and proclaims that the effects persist today. Some are truly excellent and tell us things we did not know. They find a correlation most did not expect, use unassailable data, and have a testable explanation of why the effect persists. Some are very neat but may have other explanations. Some are trivial: they use fancy methods to reaffirm persistence that had an obvious origin and is well-known to even casual observers. And some are rather contentious: the data and results are not as clean as the authors would claim.
Now we have a paper claiming that it matters whether an area fell under Dai Viet rule in Vietnam before 1833. The Dai Viet state, the paper claims, was organized along Chinese lines with strong village councils. Those areas today (and under South Vietnam) were places where “citizens have been better able to organize for public goods and redistribution through civil society and local government.”
I have to wonder: what happens to all the papers that find no effect from long-ago events? Other than the ones on strategic bombing, they never make it to publication. What would a meta-analysis find? Maybe there really is no there there.