IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bdi/workqs/qse_30.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is There a Long-Term Effect of Africa's Slave Trades?

Author

Listed:
  • Margherita Bottero

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Björn Wallace

    () (University of Cambridge)

Abstract

Nunn (2008) found a negative relationship between past slave exports and economic performance within Africa. Here we investigate these findings and the suggested causal pathway in further detail. Extending the sample period back in time we reveal that the coefficient on slave exports did not become significantly negative until 1970, and that it was close to zero in 1960. While one potential explanation for this temporal pattern could be decolonization, we analyse other episodes of slave raiding outside Africa, and find evidence that questions the validity of such suggestion. In addition, our reading of the historical and anthropological literature differs from that of Nunn. For instance, taking a global rather than African perspective we find that the African slave trades cannot without difficulties explain the patterns of ethnic fractionalization that we observe today.

Suggested Citation

  • Margherita Bottero & Björn Wallace, 2013. "Is There a Long-Term Effect of Africa's Slave Trades?," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 30, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:workqs:qse_30
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/quaderni-storia/2013-0030/QSE_30.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Introduction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 249-254, November.
    2. Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
    3. Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2009. "Root Causes of African Underdevelopment," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(5), pages 745-780, November.
    4. James Fenske, 2013. "Does Land Abundance Explain African Institutions?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1363-1390, December.
    5. Oded Galor & Quamrul Ashraf, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," Working Papers 2008-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    6. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth Lee Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economies," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2002), pages 41-110, August.
    7. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    8. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
    9. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2012. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1508-1539, June.
    10. Patricia Beeson & Tara Watson & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    11. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 6824, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Pelle Ahlerup & Ola Olsson, 2012. "The roots of ethnic diversity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 71-102, June.
    13. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    14. Nathan Nunn, 2005. "Slavery, Institutional Development and Long-Run Growth in Africa," 2005 Meeting Papers 57, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    16. Ronald Lee, 1973. "Population in Preindustrial England: An Econometric Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(4), pages 581-607.
    17. Whatley, Warren, 2012. "The Gun-Slave Cycle in the 18th century British slave trade in Africa," MPRA Paper 44492, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Motamed, Mesbah J. & Florax, Raymond J.G.M. & Masters, William J., 2009. "Geography and Economic Transition: Global Spatial Analysis at the Grid Cell Level," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49589, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; economic history; history; slave trade;

    JEL classification:

    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N47 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Africa; Oceania

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bdi:workqs:qse_30. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bdigvit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.