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1807: Economic shocks, conflict and the slave trade

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  • Fenske, James
  • Kala, Namrata

Abstract

A large fraction of modern global conflicts has occurred in Africa, resulting in a disproportionate number of fatalities compared to other regions. Many of Africa's conflicts have deep historical roots. In this paper, we contribute to understanding the determinants of historical African conflict by studying an important historical source of conflict: suppression of the slave trade after 1807. We use geo-coded data on African conflicts to uncover a discontinuous increase in conflict after 1807 in areas affected by the slave trade, indicating that suppression increased the incidence of conflict between Africans. In West Africa, the slave trade declined. This empowered interests that rivaled existing authorities, and political leaders resorted to violence in order to maintain their influence. In West-Central and South-East Africa, slave exports increased after 1807 and were produced through violence.

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  • Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2017. "1807: Economic shocks, conflict and the slave trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 66-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:126:y:2017:i:c:p:66-76
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.12.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Yu & Xu, Zhicheng Phil & Kibriya, Shahriar, 2021. "The long-term effects of the slave trade on political violence in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 776-800.
    2. Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo & Tedeschi, Gian Luca, 2022. "Strangers and Foreigners: Trust and Attitudes toward Citizenship," IZA Discussion Papers 15042, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Graziella Bertocchi, 2016. "The legacies of slavery in and out of Africa," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, December.
    4. Graziella Bertocchi, 2016. "The Legacies of Slavery in and out of Africa," Department of Economics 0096, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    5. Cherniwchan, Jevan & Moreno-Cruz, Juan, 2019. "Maize and precolonial Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 137-150.
    6. Martins, Igor, 2019. "An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade: The Effects of an Import Ban on Cape Colony Slaveholders," African Economic History Working Paper 43/2019, African Economic History Network.
    7. Mark Dincecco & James Fenske & Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato, 2019. "Is Africa Different? Historical Conflict and State Development," Economic History of Developing Regions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 209-250, May.
    8. Canning, David & Mabeu, Marie Christelle & Pongou, Roland, 2020. "Colonial origins and fertility: can the market overcome history?," MPRA Paper 112496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Merima Ali & Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Boqian Jiang & Abdulaziz B Shifa, 2019. "Colonial Legacy, State-building and the Salience of Ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(619), pages 1048-1081.
    10. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2015. "Climate and the slave trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 19-32.
    11. Boxell, Levi, 2019. "Droughts, conflict, and the African slave trade," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 774-791.
    12. Okoye, Dozie & Pongou, Roland, 2015. "Sea Change: The Competing Long-Run Impacts of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Missionary Activity in Africa," MPRA Paper 66221, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Jaimovich, Dany & Toledo, Felipe, 2021. "The grievances of a failed reform: Chilean land reform and conflict with indigenous communities," MPRA Paper 109136, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Dozie Okoye & Roland Pongou & Tite Yokossi, 2016. "On the Dispensability of New Transportation Technologies : Evidence from Colonial Railroads in Nigeria," Working Papers 1620E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    15. Graziella Bertocchi & Angelo Dimico & Gian Luca Tedeschi, 2022. "Strangers and Foreigners: Trust and Attitudes toward Citizenship," Department of Economics 0200, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    16. Okoye, Dozie, 2021. "Things fall apart? Missions, institutions, and interpersonal trust," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    17. Boxell, Levi & Dalton, John T. & Leung, Tin Cheuk, 2019. "The Slave Trade and Conflict in Africa, 1400-2000," MPRA Paper 94468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Okoye, Dozie & Pongou, Roland & Yokossi, Tite, 2019. "New technology, better economy? The heterogeneous impact of colonial railroads in Nigeria," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 320-354.
    19. Johan Fourie & Nonso Obikili, 2019. "Decolonizing with data: The cliometric turn in African economic history," Working Papers 02/2019, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.

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