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The long Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub Saharan Africa

Author

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  • Julia Cagé

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Harvard University [Cambridge])

  • Valeria Rueda

    (IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris)

Abstract

This article delves into the relationship between newspaper readership and civic attitudes, and its e↵ect on economic development. To this end, we investigate the long-term consequences of the introduction of the printing press in the 19th century. In sub-Saharan Africa, Protestant missionaries were the first both to import the printing press technology and to allow the indigenous population to use it. We build a new geocoded dataset locating Protestant missions in 1903. This dataset includes, for each mission station, the geographic location and its characteristics, as well as the educational and health-related investments undertaken by the mission. We show that, within regions located close to missions, proximity to a printing press significantly increases newspaper readership today. We also document a strong association between proximity to a printing press and contemporary economic development. Our results are robust to a variety of identification strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Cagé & Valeria Rueda, 2013. "The long Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub Saharan Africa," PSE Working Papers halshs-00844446, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00844446 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00844446v2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Mathilde Maurel & Charlemagne Nikiema, 2016. "Media and Political Participation in North Africa," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01396055, HAL.
    2. Okoye, Dozie & Pongou, Roland & Yokossi, Tite, 2017. "On the Dispensability of New Transportation Technologies: Evidence from the Heterogeneous Impact of Railroads in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 77293, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dimico, Arcangelo, 2014. "Poverty trap and educational shock: Evidence from missionary fields," QUCEH Working Paper Series 14-07, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    4. Menon, Nidhiya & McQueeney, Kathleen, 2015. "Christianity and Infant Health in India," IZA Discussion Papers 9177, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Kotsadam, Andreas & Olsen, Eivind Hammersmark & Knutsen, Carl Henrik & Wig, Tore, 2015. "Mining and Local Corruption in Africa," Memorandum 09/2015, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    6. Julia Cage, 2014. "The Economics of the African Media," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5ut30aqjfo8, Sciences Po.
    7. Valeria Rueda, 2016. "When the times they’re not a changin': Essays on the persistent effects of religion, investments, and ancestry on economic, social, and political behaviors at the subnational level," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7t43ra4ari8, Sciences Po.
    8. Dupraz, Yannick, 2017. "French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: Evidence from the Partition of Cameroon," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 333, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    9. Dozie Okoye & Roland Pongou & Tite Yokossi, 2016. "On the Dispensability of New Transportation Technologies : Evidence from Colonial Railroads in Nigeria," Working Papers 1620E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Historical persistence; Printing press; Protestant missions; Newspaper readership; Political participation; Economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N77 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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