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Slavery, Statehood, and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Bezemer, Dirk
  • Bolt, Jutta
  • Lensink, Robert

Abstract

Although Africa’s indigenous systems of slavery have been extensively described in the historical literature, comparatively little attention has been paid to analyzing its long term impact on economic and political development. Based on data collected from anthropological records we conduct an econometric analysis. We find that indigenous slavery is robustly and negatively associated with current income levels, but not with income levels immediately after independence. We explore one channel of transmission from indigenous slavery to income growth consistent with this changing effect over time and find evidence that indigenous slavery impeded the development of capable and accountable states in Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Bezemer, Dirk & Bolt, Jutta & Lensink, Robert, 2014. "Slavery, Statehood, and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 148-163.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:57:y:2014:i:c:p:148-163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.12.004
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    Cited by:

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    4. 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.
    5. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Simplice Asongu & Matthias Cinyabuguma, 2016. "The White Man’s Burden: On the Effect of African Resistance to European Domination," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 16/016, African Governance and Development Institute..
    6. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Simplice A. Asongu & Matthias Cinyabuguma, 2016. "The White Man’s Burden: On the Effect of African Resistance to European Domination," Research Africa Network Working Papers 16/016, Research Africa Network (RAN).
    7. Demeulemeester, Sarah & Hottenrott, Hanna, 2015. "R&D subsidies and firms' cost of debt," DICE Discussion Papers 201, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    8. Simplice Asongu & Oasis Kodila-Tedika, 2015. "Intelligence and Slave Export Intensity: A Cross-Country Empirical Assessment," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 15/029, African Governance and Development Institute..

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