Working Paper: Decolonizing with data: The cliometric turn in African economic history

New working paper with my colleague Prof. Johan Fourie.

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.”

Forthcoming in the handbook of cliometrics. Working paper version here.