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Social Mobility among Christian Africans: Evidence from Ugandan Marriage Registers 1895-2011

Author

Listed:
  • Meier zu Selhausen, Felix P.

    (University of Southern Denmark and University of Sussex)

  • van Leeuwen, Marco H.D.

    (Utrecht University)

  • Weisdorf, Jacob L.

    (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, and CEPR)

Abstract

We use marriage registers from colonial and post-colonial Uganda to investigate long-term trends in social mobility among Christian Africans, finding a stark contrast to the pessimistic view that colonialism retarded Africa. Colonial influences in Uganda brought much greater and more equal opportunities for social advancement than in pre-colonial times. The colonial labour market was the main ladder for upward mobility, and the mission society helped provide the education and social reference needed to climb it. We find no “buffer zone” preventing sons of blue-collar descent from entering into white-collar work. The patterns continued throughout the post-colonial era despite political turmoil.

Suggested Citation

  • Meier zu Selhausen, Felix P. & van Leeuwen, Marco H.D. & Weisdorf, Jacob L., 2015. "Social Mobility among Christian Africans: Evidence from Ugandan Marriage Registers 1895-2011," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 239, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:239
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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/239-2015_weisdorf.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Billington, Stephen D., 2018. "Patent costs and the value of inventions: Explaining patenting behaviour between England, Ireland and Scotland, 1617-1852," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2018-10, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Colonialism; Labour History; HISCO; Missionaries; Uganda; Social Mobility JEL Classification: J62; N27; O15;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • N27 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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