Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Slave Trade and Conflict in Africa, 1400-2000

Boxell, Levi and Dalton, John T. and Leung, Tin Cheuk (2019): The Slave Trade and Conflict in Africa, 1400-2000.

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Abstract

Can the slave trade explain Africa's propensity for conflict? Using variation in slave exports driven by the interaction between foreign demand shocks and heterogeneity in trade costs, we show that the slave trade increased conflict propensities in pre-colonial Africa and that this effect has persisted to the present. Moreover, we find empirical evidence suggesting two related mechanisms for this persistence--natural resources and national institutions. These results "decompress" history by connecting the short-run and long-run effects of the African slave trade.

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