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The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Local Political Fragmentation in Africa

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  • Nonso Obikili

Abstract

I examine the possibility that the trans-Atlantic slave trades influenced the political institutions of villages and towns in precolonial Africa. Using anthropological data, I show that villages and towns of ethnic groups with higher slave exports were more politically fragmented during the precolonial era. I use instrumental variables to show that the relationship is at least partly causal. I argue this fragmentation is important for relative economic development because it still influences political institutions today. I support this argument by using more contemporary data to show that areas with higher precolonial political fragmentation have a higher incidence of bribery.

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  • Nonso Obikili, 2014. "The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Local Political Fragmentation in Africa," Working Papers 406, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:406
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:exehis:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:80-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Whatley, Warren C., 2018. "The gun-slave hypothesis and the 18th century British slave trade," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 80-104.

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    Keywords

    Trans-Atlantic; Slave trade; Poltical;

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