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Abstract

We investigate whether colonial experiences in the Gold Coast still affect the performance of agribusiness in Ghana today. To this end, we surveyed 400 pineapple farmers in Ghana and connected this new dataset to data on the locations of Christian missionary schools and the performance of colonial cocoa cooperatives, from the first half of the 20th century. We find an effect of both historical variables on the performance of contract farming. The causal channel is a persistent change in culture: the performance of the colonial cocoa cooperatives changed peoples’ belief in their own capabilities to achieve business success (self-efficacy). The Christian missionary schools, in contrast, are found to have reduced village social capital.

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