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On the causes of the African Slave Trade

  • Luis Angeles

This paper offers an integrated analysis of the forces shaping the emergence of the African slave trade over the early modern period. We focus our attention on two questions. First, why most of the increase in the demand for slaves during this period came exclusively from western Europeans. Second, and of most relevance for present-day development outcomes, why was the overwhelming majority of slaves of African origin. Technological differences in manufacturing technology, the specificities of sugar (and other crops’) production, and the cultural fragmentation of the African continent all play a role in the analysis. Supporting evidence for each of our claims is provided from a broad corpus of relevant literature.

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File URL: http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_248866_en.pdf
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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2012_15.

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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2012_15
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  1. Eltis, David, 1990. "Welfare Trends among the Yoruba in the Early Nineteenth Century: The Anthropometric Evidence," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(03), pages 521-540, September.
  2. Louis Putterman, 2006. "Agriculture, Diffusion,and Development: Ripple Effects of the Neolithic Revolutions," Working Papers 2006-19, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Luis Angeles & Kyriakos C. Neanidis, 2006. "Aid Effectiveness: The Role of the Local Elite," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 80, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  4. Angeles, Luis, 2008. "GDP per capita or real wages? Making sense of conflicting views on pre-industrial Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 147-163, April.
  5. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. " States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-69, December.
  6. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-52, December.
  7. David Eltis & Frank D. Lewis & David Richardson, 2005. "Slave prices, the African slave trade, and productivity in the Caribbean, 1674-1807 -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 58(4), pages 673-700, November.
  8. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2000. "Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development," Working Papers in Economics 26, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 11 Aug 2000.
  9. Luis Angeles, 2011. "Institutions, Property Rights, and Economic Development in Historical Perspective," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 157-177, 05.
  10. Luis Angeles, 2005. "Income Inequality and Colonialism," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0543, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  11. Warren Whatley & Rob Gillezeau, 2011. "The Impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade on Ethnic Stratification in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 571-76, May.
  12. E. W. Evans & David Richardson, 1995. "Hunting for rents: the economics of slaving in pre-colonial Africa," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(4), pages 665-686, November.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  14. Gareth Austin, 2008. "Resources, techniques, and strategies south of the Sahara: revising the factor endowments perspective on African economic development, 1500-2000 -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(3), pages 587-624, 08.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
  17. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1984. "Slavery and Supervision in Comparative Perspective: A Model," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(03), pages 635-668, September.
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