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The origin of extractive states in Africa: The case of the British Cape Colony, 1834-1909

16 May 2019
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: H40, H50, H54, N57, O55

The majority of African states continue to be regarded as extractive states. We use the Cape Colony’s public expenditure to account for the emergence of extractive states in Africa. With a sub-imperial role for Southern African colonial expansion, the Cape Colony became a template for extractive practices that continue to characterize the region. Using public expenditure data, budget debates and existing historiography, we trace the elite competition for limited public resources that associated the Cape’s transition from an agrarian society to a mining-led economy.

Series title: Working paper 783
1 May 2019
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