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Dispersion and Distortions in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

  • Dalton, John
  • Leung, Tin Cheuk

This paper documents the variation in economic characteristics across voyages during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Dispersion in output, measured as slaves disembarked, is highest across Portuguese voyages, lower across French voyages, and lowest across British voyages. We use a structural approach to identify market distortions from wedges in first order conditions. The dispersion in market distortions is highest for Portuguese voyages, followed by French and British. We then calculate the share of output dispersion due to the dispersion in market distortions. Dispersion in market distortions accounts for as much as 17% of the dispersion in output. Dispersion in total factor productivity accounts for the largest share of dispersion in output.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/48224/1/MPRA_paper_48224.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48224.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48224
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  1. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," NBER Working Papers 13367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2013. "Climate, ecosystem resilience and the slave trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 9449, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. repec:cup:jechis:v:60:y:2000:i:01:p:123-144_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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  5. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448, November.
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  8. James Fenske, 2012. "African polygamy: Past and present," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  9. Darity, William, 1985. "The Numbers Game and the Profitability of the British Trade in Slaves," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(03), pages 693-703, September.
  10. Darity, William, Jr, 1992. "A Model of "Original Sin": Rise of the West and Lag of the Rest," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 162-67, May.
  11. Xavier Gabaix, 2008. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," NBER Working Papers 14299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sicsic, Pierre, 1992. "City-Farm Wage Gaps in Late Nineteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(03), pages 675-695, September.
  13. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
  14. Hogerzeil, Simon J. & Richardson, David, 2007. "Slave Purchasing Strategies and Shipboard Mortality: Day-to-Day Evidence from the Dutch African Trade, 1751 1797," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(01), pages 160-190, March.
  15. Hohenberg, Paul, 1972. "Change in Rural France in the Period of Industrialization, 1830–1914," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 219-240, March.
  16. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  17. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1996. "Globalization, Convergence, and History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 277-306, June.
  18. Thomas, Robert Paul & Bean, Richard Nelson, 1974. "The Fishers of Men: The Profits of the Slave Trade," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(04), pages 885-914, December.
  19. Dalton, John T. & Leung, Tin Cheuk, 2011. "Why is Polygyny More Prevalent in Western Africa?: An African Slave Trade Perspective," MPRA Paper 32598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Eltis, David & Engerman, Stanley L., 2000. "The Importance of Slavery and the Slave Trade to Industrializing Britain," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(01), pages 123-144, March.
  21. Douglass C. North, 1968. "Sources of Productivity Change in Ocean Shipping, 1600-1850," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 953.
  22. Eltis, David & Lewis, Frank D. & McIntyre, Kimberly, 2010. "Accounting for the Traffic in Africans: Transport Costs on Slaving Voyages," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(04), pages 940-963, December.
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