Heights and Development in a Cash-Crop Colony: Living Standards in Ghana, 1870-1980
AbstractWhile Ghana is a classic case of economic growth in an agriculturalâ€export colony, scholars have queried whether it was sustained, and how far its benefits were widely distributed, socially and regionally. Using height as a measure of human wellâ€being we explore the evolution of living standards and regional inequality in Ghana from 1870 to 1980. Our findings suggest that, overall, living standards improved during colonial times and that a trend reversal occurred during the economic crisis in the 1973â€83. In a regression analysis we test several covariates reflecting the major economic and social changes that took place in early twentiethâ€century Ghana including railway construction, cocoa production, missionary activities, and urbanization. We find significant height gains in cocoa producing areas, whereas heights decreased with urbanization.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 325.
Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
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Nutrition; health; anthropometrics; colonial; living standards;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - General
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
- O10 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2013-01-26 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2013-01-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2013-01-26 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2013-01-26 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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