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Decolonizing with data: The cliometric turn in African economic history

Johan Fourie () and Nonso Obikili ()

No 02/2019, Working Papers from Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Our understanding of Africa's economic past -- the causes and consequences of precolonial polities, the slave trade, state formation, the Scramble for Africa, European settlement, and independence -- has improved markedly over the last two decades. Much of this is the result of the cliometric turn in African economic history, what some have called a `renaissance'. Whilst acknowledging that cliometrics is not new to African history, this chapter examines the major recent contributions, noting their methodological advances and dividing them into four broad themes: persistence of deep traits, slavery, colonialism and independence. We conclude with a brief bibliometric exercise, noting the lack of Africans working at the frontier of African cliometrics.

Keywords: Africa; history; poverty; reversal of fortunes; sub-Saharan; trade; slavery; colonialism; missionaries; independence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N01 N37 O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-dev, nep-evo, nep-his and nep-hpe
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