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Explaining ship traffic fluctuations in the early Cape settlement: 1652–1793

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Author Info

  • Willem Boshoff

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)

  • Johan Fourie

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)

Abstract

The only reliable estimate of the number of ships that arrived in the Cape Colony was published by Beyers in 1929. Unfortunately, this data series has a number of restrictions. It only accounts for the number of ships arriving at the Cape during the period 1700–1793. It also does not distinguish between the types of ships used or compensate for the length of their stay. Using a new electronic data source detailing every ship that anchored in Table Bay during the existence of the Dutch East India Company, this paper provides new insights into the pattern of ship traffic fluctuations in the early Cape Colony. Historical evidence from this period supports the empirical results. While many gaps still remain, the new empirical evidence can be used in future research on this neglected period of South Africa’s economic history.

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File URL: http://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2008/wp012008/wp-01-2008.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 01/2008.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers49

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Related research

Keywords: Cape Colony; Data; Economic History; Dutch East India Company; Ships; Cliometrics;

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Cited by:
  1. Johan Fourie & Dieter von Fintel, 2010. "The dynamics of inequality in a newly settled, pre-industrial society: the case of the Cape Colony," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 4(3), pages 229-267, October.
  2. Johan Fourie & Jan Luiten Zanden, 2013. "GDP in the Dutch Cape Colony: The National Accounts of a Slave-Based Society," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 81(4), pages 467-490, December.

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