Dispersion and Distortions in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Tin Cheuk Leung
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
John T. Dalton
Wake Forest University
July 31, 2012
This paper documents the heterogeneity across voyages during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Output dispersion is highest across Portuguese voyages, lower across French voyages, and lowest across British voyages. We use a structural approach to identify market distortions from wedges in first order conditions. The dispersion in market distortions is highest for Portuguese voyages, followed by French and British. We then calculate the share of output dispersion due to the dispersion in market distortions. Dispersion in market distortions accounts for as much as 17% of the dispersion in output. Dispersion in TFP accounts for the largest share of dispersion in output.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: slave trades, market distortions, output dispersion, productivity
JEL Classification: N77, F14, F54
Date posted: August 1, 2012
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