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The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades

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  • Nunn, Nathan

Abstract

Can part of Africa's current underdevelopment be explained by its slave trades? To explore this question, I use data from shipping records and historical documents reporting slave ethnicities to construct estimates of the number of slaves exported from each country during Africa's slave trades. I find a robust negative relationship between the number of slaves exported from a country and current economic performance. To better understand if the relationship is causal, I examine the historical evidence on selection into the slave trades and use instrumental variables. Together the evidence suggests that the slave trades had an adverse effect on economic development.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3710252/Nunn_Long-TermEffects.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3710252.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics -Cambridge Massachusetts-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3710252

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  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. William Easterly & Jozef Ritzen & Michael Woolcock, 2006. "Social Cohesion, Institutions, And Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 103-120, 07.
  3. Mitchener, Kris James & McLean, Ian W, 2003. " The Productivity of US States since 1880," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 73-114, March.
  4. Graziella Bertocchi & Fabio Canova, 1996. "Did colonization matter for growth? An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," Economics Working Papers 202, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2008. "Root Causes of African Underdevelopment," Departmental Working Papers 2008-16, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  6. Louis Putterman & Valerie Bockstette, 2000. "States and Markets:the Advantage of an Early Start," Working Papers 2000-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Nicola Gennaioli & Ilia Rainer, 2007. "The modern impact of precolonial centralization in Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 185-234, September.
  8. James D. Fearon & Macartan Humphreys & Jeremy M. Weinstein, 2009. "Can Development Aid Contribute to Social Cohesion after Civil War? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Post-conflict Liberia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 287-91, May.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Slavenomics
    by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-19 18:36:30
  2. Slavenomics
    by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-19 18:36:30
  3. The legacy of slavery
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-03-17 11:59:00
  4. The long term effect of slavery on Africa
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-02-09 07:08:00
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