The Impact of the Slave Trade on Literacy in Africa: Evidence from the Colonial Era
AbstractRecent studies have highlighted the importance of Africa's history of slave exporting to its current economic development. In this paper I show that differences in investment in education may be one of the channels through which that history has affected current development. I combine data on literacy rates of administrative districts from the colonial censuses of Nigeria and Ghana from the 1950's with data on slave exports of different ethnic groups. I find a negative and signi cant relationship between slave export intensity before the colonial era and literacy rates during the colonial era. I also use contemporary data on literacy rates from the 2010 Nigerian Literacy Survey and find that this negative relationship is still present and significant. Thus, I show that the slave trades affected development through channels other than inter-ethnic group confliict or formal nation-state level institutions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 378.
Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
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Africa; Slave trades; Human Capital; Development;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O10 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
- N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
- N97 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Africa; Oceania
- I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2013-10-18 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2013-10-18 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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