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Climate, geography and African economic history

16 January 2014
Panelist: ERSA
Event type: Workshop
JEL Code: N1, N17, Q5, Q55, R0
Event date: 28 May 2014
- 30 May 2014

Africa’s ‘bad’ geographic and environmental features have long been posited as an explanation for Africa’s underdevelopment. Ruggedness, few navigable rivers, poor soil quality, and a high disease burden are still held as reasons for the lack of early population density, production and trade. And while the emphasis may have shifted to institutional explanations for Africa’s poor performance, the rise of certain institutions are often measured through the use of geographic or environmental instruments, like distance to foreign markets or the disease burden.

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