EconStor >
University College Dublin (UCD) >
UCD School of Economics, University College Dublin (UCD) >
Working Paper Series, UCD School of Economics, University College Dublin (UCD) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

http://hdl.handle.net/10419/43301
  
Title:Geography, European colonization, and past population dynamics in Africa PDF Logo
Authors:Vaz Silva, Luís
Issue Date:2007
Series/Report no.:Working paper series // UCD Centre for Economic Research 2007/05
Abstract:Past population dynamics in Africa have remained largely elusive due to the lack of demographic data. Researchers are understandably deterred from trying to explain what is not known and African historical population estimates suffer from this lack of interest. In this paper I explain present day African population densities using mostly ecological factors as explanatory variables. I find evidence supporting the view that ecological factors deeply affected precolonial patterns of human settlement in Sub-Saharan Africa. Human populations grew relatively large in the presence of lakes, highlands, or when situated in the wet, coastal regions of Western Africa. Other environmental suites were thinly populated with overall population sizes stagnant at low or very low steady states. Subsequent developments show that dramatic increases in the agricultural productivity of peripheral, semiarid areas were possible once colonial innovations were on hand. Thus, European colonization had likely asymmetric effects on the population dynamics of different regions of Africa.
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Working Paper Series, UCD School of Economics, University College Dublin (UCD)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat
550446478.pdf1.15 MBAdobe PDF
No. of Downloads: Counter Stats
Download bibliographical data as: BibTeX
Share on:http://hdl.handle.net/10419/43301

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.