Economic History: Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation: Africa; Oceania

An Economic Model of the Apartheid State

Rather than a rigid racial ideology, it is argued that South African apartheid was a pragmatic response of a white oligarchy to changing economic and political constraints. Consequently, the degree to which apartheid principles were applied and enforced by the South African state varied over time. A public choice model is developed to explain apartheid as endogenous policy, the parameters of which are determined by political support-maximizing politicians.

Pearls worth Rds4000 or less: Reinterpreting eighteenth century sumptuary laws at the Cape

Governor Ryk Tulbagh promulgated sumptuary laws at the Cape in 1755. Umbrellas could no longer be carried freely by all classes, silk dresses of a certain length could not be worn by ladies without regard to rank, and the value of pearl necklaces was strictly limited. These laws have often been interpreted as an attempt to maintain a social hierarchy (e.g. Ross 1990), a “defence against emulation” in the words of De Vries (2008).

The Legacy of Historical Conflict Evidence from Africa

This paper exploits variation between and within countries to examine the legacy of recorded conflicts in Africa in the pre-colonial period between 1400 and 1700. There are three main findings. First, we show that historical conflict is correlated with a greater prevalence of post-colonial con.ict. Second, historical conflict is correlated with lower levels of trust, a stronger sense of ethnic identity and a weaker sense of national identity across countries. Third, historical conflict is negatively correlated with subsequent patterns of development within countries.

A Theory of Colonial Goverance

This paper considers conditions of optimality in a co-optive strategy of colonial rule. It proposes a simple model of elite formation emanating from a coloniser's quest to maximise extracted rents from its colonies. The results suggest multiple optimal solutions, depending on the specification of the production function, the governance technology chosen by the coloniser and the technological parameters of the model.

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