Land abundance and economic institutions: Egba land and slavery, 1830-1914
AbstractThe ``land abundance'' view of African history uses sparse population to explain economic institutions. I provide supporting evidence from the Egba of Nigeria. I use early colonial court records to show that Egba institutions fit the theory's predictions. Before 1914, the Egba had poorly defined land rights, practiced extensive agriculture, relied on dependant and forced labor, and used labor to secure loans. There are two major exceptions. First, the Egba sold some land. Second, land disputes existed. These are explained by land scarcity when the Egba initially arrived at Abeokuta and by heterogeneity in the quality of land.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 22959.
Date of creation: 15 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Africa; Nigeria; Property rights; land tenure; slavery; polygyny;
Other versions of this item:
- James Fenske, 2012. "Land abundance and economic institutions: Egba land and slavery, 1830–1914," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 527-555, 05.
- N17 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Africa; Oceania
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2010-06-04 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2010-06-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2010-06-04 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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