Lasting Effects of the Slave Trade
I construct measures of the number of slaves exported from each country in Africa, in each century between 1400 and 1900. The estimates are constructed by combining data from ship records on the number of slaves shipped from each African port or region with data from a variety of historical documents that report the ethnic identities of slaves that were shipped from Africa. I find a robust negative relationship between the number of slaves exported from each country and subsequent economic performance. The African countries that are the poorest today are the ones from which the most slaves were taken.
Nunn's explanation is that"procurement of slaves through internal warfare, raiding, and kidnapping resulted in subsequent state collapse and ethnic fractionalization." Andrew Sullivan picked up this report today. See also the discussion at Ampersand and Dani Rodrik's Weblog. Tim Burke and Jonathan Reynolds would have a better sense of things, but the conclusion strikes me as less surprising than some of the comments suggest. Nunn's data may simply confirm what we already knew.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Memorial Where Slavery Is Real
- Thomas Piketty accuses Germany of forgetting history as it lectures Greece
- Greek ‘No’ May Have Its Roots in Heroic Myths and Real Resistance
- 150 years later, schools are still a battlefield for interpreting Civil War
- Where are America's memorials to pain of slavery, black resistance?
- Historian: "I don’t want my students to simply choose sides in a polemic between heritage and hate"
- Harvard’s Nancy Cott says the Chief Justice in the gay marriage case has a stilted idea of the history of marriage
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- How Does It Feel To Have One’s Work as a Historian Cited by the Supreme Court? Cool. Very Cool. Thank You Very Much.