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Slavery and development in nineteenth century Brazil

Author

Listed:
  • Palma, Nuno

    (University of Manchester; ICS, Universidade de Lisboa; CEPR)

  • Papadia, Andrea

    (University of Bonn)

  • Pereira, Thales

    (São Paulo School of Economics/FGV)

  • Weller, Leonardo

    (São Paulo School of Economics/FGV)

Abstract

This paper brings new evidence on the legacy of slavery to economic development through the case study of Brazil during the nineteenth century. The conclusions contribute to the debate brought by the New History of Capitalism (NHC) about the role of slavery and industrialization in the United States. We argue that the NHC lacks a comparative perspective. Brazil imported more slaves than any other country in the world and slavery lasted longer and was more widespread than in the U.S. south. Rather than promoting economic growth and development, the evidence shows that slavery held back industrialization in Brazil. We also discuss the role of slavery on agricultural productivity and show that, as in the U.S. the use of violence does not explain increases in the productivity of cotton plantations.

Suggested Citation

  • Palma, Nuno & Papadia, Andrea & Pereira, Thales & Weller, Leonardo, 2020. "Slavery and development in nineteenth century Brazil," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 523, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:523
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Slavery; Comparative History; New History of Capitalism JEL Classification:;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J47 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Coercive Labor Markets
    • N56 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N66 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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