Dispersion and Distortions in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

25 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2012  

Tin Cheuk Leung

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

John T. Dalton

Wake Forest University

Date Written: July 31, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: slave trades, market distortions, output dispersion, productivity

JEL Classification: N77, F14, F54

Suggested Citation

Leung, Tin Cheuk and Dalton, John T., Dispersion and Distortions in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (July 31, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2121125 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2121125

Tin Cheuk Leung (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong
China

John T. Dalton

Wake Forest University ( email )

Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States

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