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Profitability of Slave and Long-Distance Trading in Context: The Case of Eighteenth-Century France

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  • DAUDIN, GUILLAUME

Abstract

This article studies slave and other long-distance trades in eighteenth-century France. The data cover 238 ventures from seven French harbors between 1710 and 1780. Using the undiscounted benefit-cost ratio as a proxy for the internal rate of return, the article shows that these investments were more liquid, shorter, and more profitable than private notarized credit, without higher risk. They were safer and had a shorter duration than government bonds, without being less liquid or less profitable. The conclusion, that investment in these trades was preferable to domestic alternatives, may be explained by barriers to entry.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 64 (2004)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 144-171

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:64:y:2004:i:01:p:144-171_00

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Cited by:
  1. Guillaume Daudin, 2006. "Profits du commerce international et croissance de la France au XVIIIe siècle," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/684, Sciences Po.
  2. Guillaume Daudin & Kevin H O'Rourke & Leandro Prados De La Escosura, 2008. "Trade and Empire, 1700-1870," Sciences Po publications 2008-24, Sciences Po.
  3. Baafi Antwi, Joseph, 2011. "Western Guilt and Third World Development: Part 1," MPRA Paper 28422, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 26 Jan 2011.
  4. Guillaume Daudin, 2003. "Do Frontiers give of do frontiers take ? The case of intercontinental trade in France at the end of the Ancien Régime," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2003-03, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  5. Guillaume Daudin, 2006. "Profits du commerce intercontinental et croissance dans la France du xviiie siècle," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(3), pages 605-613.

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