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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 To explore this question, I use data from shipping records and historical documents reporting slave ethnicities to construct estimates of the number of slaves exported from each country during Africa’s slave trades.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 have had an adverse effect on economic development.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 4134.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4134

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Keywords: Africa; Slave trade; Economic development;

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  1. Bertocchi, Graziella & Canova, Fabio, 2002. "Did colonization matter for growth?: An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1851-1871, December.
  2. William Easterly & Jozef Ritzan & Michael Woolcock, 2006. "Social Cohesion, Institutions, and Growth," Working Papers 94, Center for Global Development.
  3. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  4. Kris James Mitchener & Ian W. McLean, 2001. "The Productivity of U.S. States Since 1880," School of Economics Working Papers 2001-08, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  5. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. " States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-69, December.
  6. Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2008. "Root Causes of African Underdevelopment," Departmental Working Papers 2008-16, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden 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. The legacy of slavery
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-03-17 11:59:00
  2. The long term effect of slavery on Africa
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-02-09 07:08:00
  3. Slavenomics
    by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-19 18:36:30
  4. Slavenomics
    by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-19 18:36:30
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