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Slavery, coercion, and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Gardner, Leigh ORCID: 0000-0001-8638-5121 (2023) Slavery, coercion, and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Business History Review, 97 (2). pp. 199-223. ISSN 0007-6805

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0007680523000338


Recent debates on the economic history of the United States and other regions have revisited the question of the extent to which slavery and other forms of labor coercion contributed to the development of economic and political institutions. This article aims to bring Africa into this global debate, examining the contributions of slavery and coercion to periods of economic growth during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It argues that the coercion of labor in a variety of forms was a key part of African political economy, and thus when presented with opportunities for growth, elites turned first to the expansion of coerced labor. However, while labor coercion could help facilitate short-run growth, it also made the transition to sustained growth more difficult.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O10 - General
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N37 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Africa; Oceania
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2023 11:42
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 06:24

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