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The wealth of the Cape Colony: Measurements from probate inventories

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  • Johan Fourie

Abstract

The stylized view of the Dutch Cape Colony (1652-1795) is of a poor, subsistence economy, with little progress in the first 143 years of Dutch rule. New evidence from probate inventory and auction roll records show that previous estimates about wealth at the Cape are inaccurate. In contrast to earlier historical accounts, the inventories reveal evidence of an affluent, market-integrated settler society, comparable to the most prosperous regions in eighteenth century England and Holland.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 268.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:268

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Keywords: living standards; household wealth; inventories; South Africa; Dutch;

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References

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  1. Andrew Mason & Tomoko Kinugasa, 2005. "Why Nations Become Wealthy: The Effects of Adult Longevity on Saving," Working Papers, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics 200514, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
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  3. David M. Blau & Ryan M. Goodstein, 2010. "Can Social Security Explain Trends in Labor Force Participation of Older Men in the United States?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
  4. Eytan Sheshinski, 2006. "Note on Longevity and Aggregate Savings," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(2), pages 353-356, 07.
  5. Leff, Nathaniel H, 1971. "Dependency Rates and Savings Rates: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 476-80, June.
  6. Li, Hongbin & Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Effects of longevity and dependency rates on saving and growth: Evidence from a panel of cross countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 138-154, September.
  7. Eytan Sheshinski, 2005. "Longevity and Aggregate Savings," Discussion Paper Series, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem dp403, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  8. Gupta, Kanhaya L, 1971. "Dependency Rates and Savings Rates: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 469-71, June.
  9. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
  10. Robert M. Schmidt & Allen C. Kelley, 1996. "Saving, dependency and development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 365-386.
  11. An, Chong-Bum & Jeon, Seung-Hoon, 2006. "Demographic change and economic growth: An inverted-U shape relationship," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 447-454, September.
  12. Ram, Rati, 1982. "Dependency Rates and Aggregate Savings: A New International Cross-Section Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 537-44, June.
  13. Goldberger, Arthur S, 1973. "Dependency Rates and Savings Rates: Further Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 63(1), pages 232-33, March.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Lessons from the Cape Colony
    by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-15 10:30:02
  2. Lessons from the Cape Colony
    by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-15 10:30:02

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