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Journal Article

The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades

Nathan Nunn
The Quarterly Journal of Economics
Vol. 123, No. 1 (Feb., 2008), pp. 139-176
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25098896
Page Count: 38
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The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades
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Abstract

Can part of Africa's current underdevelopment be explained by its slave trades? To explore this question, I use data from shipping records and historical documents reporting slave ethnicities to construct estimates of the number of slaves exported from each country during Africa's slave trades. I find a robust negative relationship between the number of slaves exported from a country and current economic performance. To better understand if the relationship is causal, I examine the historical evidence on selection into the slave trades and use instrumental variables. Together the evidence suggests that the slave trades had an adverse effect on economic development.

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