The Slave Trade and Conflict in Africa, 1400-2000
46 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 13, 2019
Can the slave trade explain Africa's propensity for conflict? Using variation in slave exports driven by the interaction between foreign demand shocks and heterogeneity in trade costs, we show that the slave trade increased conflict propensities in pre-colonial Africa and that this effect has persisted to the present. Moreover, we find empirical evidence suggesting two related mechanisms for this persistence --- natural resources and national institutions. These results "decompress" history by connecting the short-run and long-run effects of the African slave trade.
Keywords: Slave Trade, Conflict, Resource Curse, Institutions, Africa
JEL Classification: N47, N57, O13, O43, P48, Q34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation