The long-run effects of the Scramble for Africa
Stelios Michalopoulos, Elias Papaioannou 06 January 2012
The 'Scramble for Africa' – the artificial drawing of African political boundaries among European powers in the end of the 19th century – led to the partitioning of several ethnicities across newly created African states. This columns shows that partitioned ethnic groups have suffered significantly longer and more devastating civil wars. It also uncovers substantial spillovers as ethnic conflict spreads from the historical homeland of groups partitioned to nearby areas where non-split ethnicities reside.
The predominant explanations for the deep roots of contemporary African (under)development centre on the influence of Europeans during the colonial period (Acemoglu et al 2005), and on the slave trade in the centuries before colonisation when close to 20 million slaves were exported from Africa (Nunn 2008).1 Yet another milestone took place amidst these two major events.
Africa, civil conflict, ethnic violence
Civil conflicts hurt firms – by displacing workers
Christopher Ksoll, Rocco Macchiavello, Ameet Morjaria 08 March 2011
As unrest continues in the Arab countries, many are asking about the economic costs. While the macro effect of civil conflicts is widely studied, little is known of the micro effects. This column presents evidence from the short-term violence following the 2007 election in Kenya. It finds that firms providing cut flowers to Western markets saw a significant rise in costs, largely due to the displacement of workers.
Foreign firms who want to take advantage of Africa’s comparative advantage in agriculture and low wages not only face bureaucracy, but also civil wars and conflicts. Naturally the latter are disastrous for profitability and investments – yet very little is actually known about the microeconomics of how conflict affects firms.
Development International trade
elections, Kenya, East Africa, civil conflict