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1807: Economic shocks, conflict and the slave trade

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  • James Fenske
  • Namrata Kala

Abstract

Suppression of the slave trade after 1807 increased the incidence of conflict between Africans. We use geo-coded data on African conflicts to uncover a discontinuous increase in conflict after 1807 in areas affected by the slave trade. In West Africa, the slave trade declined. This empowered interests that rivaled existing authorities, and political leaders resorted to violence in order to maintain their influence. In West-Central and South-East Africa, slave exports increased after 1807 and were produced through violence. We validate our explanation using Southwestern Nigeria and Eastern South Africa as examples.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2014-02.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2014-02

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  1. James Fenske & Namrata Kala, 2012. "Climate, ecosystem resilience and the slave trade," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-23, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
  3. Clemente, Jesus & Montanes, Antonio & Reyes, Marcelo, 1998. "Testing for a unit root in variables with a double change in the mean," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 175-182, May.
  4. Cantoni, Davide & Yuchtman, Noam, 2012. "Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution," Discussion Papers in Economics 12896, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Dalton, John T. & Leung, Tin Cheuk, 2011. "Why is Polygyny More Prevalent in Western Africa?: An African Slave Trade Perspective," MPRA Paper 32598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "The Logic of Political Violence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1411-1445.
  7. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
  8. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
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