Friday, October 19, 2007

Bad Geography and Development in Africa

In a QJE forthcoming paper, Nathan Nunn has shown the legacy of slave trade in the current development of Africa. Now he goes one step further. With Diego Puga, the brilliant New Economic Geographer, he has written a paper that argues that the rugged terrain "afforded protection to those being raided during the slave trades. Since the slave trades retarded subsequent economic development, in Africa ruggedness also has had a historical indirect positive effect on income". The title of the paper is: "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa".

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