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The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Julia Cagé
  • Valeria Rueda

Abstract

This article investigates the long-term consequences of the printing press in the nineteenth century sub-Saharan Africa on social capital nowadays. Protestant missionaries were the first to import the printing press and to allow the indigenous population to use it. We build a new geocoded dataset locating Protestant missions in 1903. This dataset includes, for each mission station, the geographic location and its characteristics, as well as the printing-, educational-, and health-related investments undertaken by the mission. We show that, within regions close to missions, proximity to a printing press is associated with higher newspaper readership, trust, education, and political participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Cagé & Valeria Rueda, 2016. "The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 69-99, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:8:y:2016:i:3:p:69-99
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20140379
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Okoye, Dozie & Pongou, Roland & Yokossi, Tite, 2016. "On the Dispensability of New Transportation Technologies: Evidence from Colonial Railroads in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 75262, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Menon, Nidhiya & McQueeney, Kathleen, 2015. "Christianity and Infant Health in India," IZA Discussion Papers 9177, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Kotsadam, Andreas & Olsen, Eivind Hammersmark & Knutsen, Carl Henrik & Wig, Tore, 2015. "Mining and Local Corruption in Africa," Memorandum 09/2015, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    4. Mathilde MAUREL & Charlemagne NIKIEMA, 2016. "Media and Political Participation in North Africa," Working Papers P166, FERDI.
    5. Dupraz, Yannick, 2017. "French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: Evidence from the Partition of Cameroon," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 333, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    6. Dozie Okoye & Roland Pongou & Tite Yokossi, 2017. "On the Dispensability of New Transportation Technologies: Evidence from the Heterogeneous Impact of Railroads in Nigeria," Working Papers 1703E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    7. Julia Cage, 2014. "The Economics of the African Media," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5ut30aqjfo8, Sciences Po.
    8. Dimico, Arcangelo, 2014. "Poverty trap and educational shock: Evidence from missionary fields," QUCEH Working Paper Series 14-07, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    9. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Asongu, Simplice, 2018. "The Long-Term Effects of African Resistance to European Domination: Institutional Mechanism," MPRA Paper 85237, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Valeria Rueda, 2016. "When the times they’re not a changin': Essays on the persistent effects of religion, investments, and ancestry on economic, social, and political behaviors at the subnational level," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7t43ra4ari8, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N77 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N97 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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