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The wealth of the Cape Colony: Measurements from probate inventories

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  • Johan Fourie

Abstract

The stylized view of the Dutch Cape Colony (1652-1795) is of a poor, subsistence economy, with little progress in the first 143 years of Dutch rule. New evidence from probate inventory and auction roll records show that previous estimates about wealth at the Cape are inaccurate. In contrast to earlier historical accounts, the inventories reveal evidence of an affluent, market-integrated settler society, comparable to the most prosperous regions in eighteenth century England and Holland.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan Fourie, 2012. "The wealth of the Cape Colony: Measurements from probate inventories," Working Papers 268, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:268
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Lessons from the Cape Colony
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-15 15:30:02
    2. Lessons from the Cape Colony
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-03-15 15:30:02

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    Keywords

    living standards; household wealth; inventories; South Africa; Dutch;
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