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Abstract

Slave trade affects regional economic development, degree of trust among individuals, community cohesion, and ethnic identity, which in turn have a bearing on the spatial distribution of civil conflict in Africa. Hence, ethnic homelands that have more slaves exported are expected to be more prone to conflict. By using a subnational dataset in Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) between 1997 and 2014, we find that slave trade in the colonial period significantly causes higher risks of civil conflict in the present. In order to reduce the concern of endogeneity, we employ the historical slave trade distances as instruments, which do not affect conflict except through their influence on slave trade.

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