Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why Africa Does Not Develop?

My research shows that this is indeed the case. The countries from which the most slaves were taken (taking into account differences in country size) are today the poorest in Africa. This can be seen in figure 1, which shows the relationship between the number of slaves taken between 1400 and 1900 and average real per capita GDP measured in 2000. As the figure clearly shows, the relationship is extremely strong. As well, the relationship remains robust when many other key determinants of economic development are taken into account...

According to my calculations, if the slave trades had not occurred, then 72% of the average income gap between Africa and the rest of the world would not exist today, and 99% of the income gap between Africa and the rest of the underdeveloped world would not exist. In terms of economic development, Africa would not look any different from the other developing countries in the world.

More here. BTW, professor Nathan Nunn, the author of the piece summarized above is now at Harvard, not Canada's UBC.

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