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Dispersion and Distortions in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

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  • Dalton, John
  • Leung, Tin Cheuk

Abstract

This paper documents the variation in economic characteristics across voyages during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Dispersion in output, measured as slaves disembarked, is highest across Portuguese voyages, lower across French voyages, and lowest across British voyages. We use a structural approach to identify market distortions from wedges in first order conditions. The dispersion in market distortions is highest for Portuguese voyages, followed by French and British. We then calculate the share of output dispersion due to the dispersion in market distortions. Dispersion in market distortions accounts for as much as 17% of the dispersion in output. Dispersion in total factor productivity accounts for the largest share of dispersion in output.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/48224/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48224.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48224

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Keywords: slave trades; market distortions; output dispersion; productivity;

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