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Explaining ship traffic fluctuations in the early Cape settlement: 1652–1793

Author

Listed:
  • Willem Boshoff

    () (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)

  • Johan Fourie

    () (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)

Abstract

The only reliable estimate of the number of ships that arrived in the Cape Colony was published by Beyers in 1929. Unfortunately, this data series has a number of restrictions. It only accounts for the number of ships arriving at the Cape during the period 1700–1793. It also does not distinguish between the types of ships used or compensate for the length of their stay. Using a new electronic data source detailing every ship that anchored in Table Bay during the existence of the Dutch East India Company, this paper provides new insights into the pattern of ship traffic fluctuations in the early Cape Colony. Historical evidence from this period supports the empirical results. While many gaps still remain, the new empirical evidence can be used in future research on this neglected period of South Africa’s economic history.

Suggested Citation

  • Willem Boshoff & Johan Fourie, 2008. "Explaining ship traffic fluctuations in the early Cape settlement: 1652–1793," Working Papers 01/2008, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers49
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    File URL: https://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2008/wp012008/wp-01-2008.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    Cited by:

    1. Johan Fourie & Dieter von Fintel, 2010. "The dynamics of inequality in a newly settled, pre-industrial society: the case of the Cape Colony," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 4(3), pages 229-267, October.
    2. Johan Fourie, 2020. "The settlers of South Africa and the expanding frontier," Working Papers 14/2020, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    3. Johan Fourie & Dieter Fintel, 2014. "Settler skills and colonial development: the Huguenot wine-makers in eighteenth-century Dutch South Africa," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(4), pages 932-963, November.
    4. Johan Fourie, 2018. "Cliometrics in South Africa," Working Papers 14/2018, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    5. Johan Fourie & Jan Luiten Zanden, 2013. "GDP in the Dutch Cape Colony: The National Accounts of a Slave-Based Society," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 81(4), pages 467-490, December.
    6. Johan Fourie & Dieter von Fintel, 2010. "The Fruit of the Vine? An Augmented Endowments-Inequality Hypothesis and the Rise of an Elite in the Cape Colony," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2010-112, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cape Colony; Data; Economic History; Dutch East India Company; Ships; Cliometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • N17 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Africa; Oceania
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • N77 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Africa; Oceania

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