European Trade, Colonialism and Human Capital Accumulation in Senegal, Gambia and Western Mali, 1770-1900

43 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2017

See all articles by Gabriele Cappelli

Gabriele Cappelli

Autonomous University of Barcelona

Jörg Baten

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: May 22, 2017

Abstract

We trace the development of human capital in today’s Senegal, Gambia, and Western Mali between 1770 and 1900. European trade, slavery and early colonialism were linked to human capital formation, but this connection appears to have been heterogeneous. The contact with the Atlantic slave trade increased regional divergence, as the coast of Senegambia developed more quickly than inner areas. This pattern was affected by French early colonialism and by the reaction of different West African populations to the economic incentives provided by foreign demand for agricultural products. The peanut trade since the mid-19th century further amplified regional economic inequalities.

Keywords: numeracy, West Africa, trade, colonialism

JEL Classification: N370, N570, I210

Suggested Citation

Cappelli, Gabriele and Baten, Jorg, European Trade, Colonialism and Human Capital Accumulation in Senegal, Gambia and Western Mali, 1770-1900 (May 22, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6468. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2983727

Gabriele Cappelli (Contact Author)

Autonomous University of Barcelona ( email )

Edifici B, Campus UAB
Bellaterra, Barcelona 08193
Spain

Jorg Baten

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics ( email )

Mohlstrasse 36
D-72074 Tuebingen, 72074
Germany
+49 7071 2972985 (Phone)
+49 7071 295119 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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