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Side Effects of Immunity: The Rise of African Slavery in the US South

Elena Esposito

Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie from Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie

Abstract: Why did African slavery rise in the southern United States? The novel empirical evidence presented in this paper reveals that (i) malaria was a major determinant for the rise and spread of African slavery in the US South and (ii) malaria resistance made sub-Saharan Africans especially attractive for employment in these regions. We show that African enslaved labor was massively introduced in the United States after the spread of a deadly malaria species, and that it remained largely concentrated in the more malariainfested areas of the South. We further document that more malaria-resistant slaves, i.e. those born in the most malaria-ridden regions of Africa, commanded higher prices.

Keywords: Slavery; Malaria; African Slave Trade; Colonial Institutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 N31 N37 N57 J15 J47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 106 pp.
Date: 2018-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-his
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:lau:crdeep:18.07

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