The African Slave Trade and Modern Household Finance

Economic Journal, Conditional Acceptance

44 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2017 Last revised: 3 Oct 2019

See all articles by Ross Levine

Ross Levine

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Chen Lin

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics

Wensi Xie

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - CUHK Business School

Date Written: September 17, 2019

Abstract

We evaluate the impact of the African slave trade between 1400 and 1900 on modern household finance. Exploiting cross-country and cross-ethnic group differences in the intensity with which people were enslaved and exported from Africa, we find that slave exports during the 1400-1900 period are negatively associated with current measures of household (a) access to financial services, (b) access to credit, (c) use of mobile finance, and (d) trust in financial institutions, suggesting that the slave trade has had an enduring, deleterious effect on household finance.

Keywords: Financial Institutions; Household Finance; History and Finance

JEL Classification: G21, N2, O16, O55

Suggested Citation

Levine, Ross Eric and Lin, Chen and Xie, Wensi, The African Slave Trade and Modern Household Finance (September 17, 2019). Economic Journal, Conditional Acceptance. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3031310 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3031310

Ross Eric Levine (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Chen Lin

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
China

Wensi Xie

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - CUHK Business School ( email )

Cheng Yu Tung Building
12 Chak Cheung Street
Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong

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