Slaves, migrants and development in Brazil, 1872-1923
Title: Slaves, migrants and development in Brazil, 1872-1923
Author: PAPADIA, Andrea
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2019/05
Brazil was the largest importer of slaves during the Atlantic slave trade. Yet, the lack of disaggregated data able to capture the intensity of slavery across time and space means that researchers have struggled to identify an economic legacy of the institution. I propose to measure slavery using the presence of communities descended from those founded by runaway slaves: the Quilombos. Combining this measure with municipal level data, I illustrate the adverse impact of slavery on a broad range of indicators of economic development, both while slavery still existed and more than 30 years after its abolition. Additionally, I exploit the creation of communities set up to host newly arrived migrants from Europe to show that European immigration taking place while slavery existed led to better developmental outcomes. This complements the previous finding by indicating that exiting a slavebased economy earlier thanks to an influx of free workers was beneficial for economic development.
Subject: Slavery; Immigration; Economic Development; State Capacity; J15; N36; O12; O43
Type of Access: openAccess