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The LongTerm Effects of the Printing Press in SubSaharan Africa

Abstract : This article delves into the relationship between newspaper readership and civic attitudes, and its effect on economic development. To this end, we investigate the long-term consequences of the introduction of the printing press in the 19th century. In sub-Saharan Africa, Protestant missionaries were the first both to import the printing press technology and to allow the indigenous population to use it. We build a new geocoded dataset locating Protestant missions in 1903. This dataset includes, for each mission station, the geographic location and its characteristics, as well as the educational and health-related investments undertaken by the mission. We show that, within regions located close to missions, proximity to a printing press significantly increases newspaper readership today. We also document a strong association between proximity to a printing press and contemporary economic development. Our results are robust to a variety of identification strategies.
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https://hal-sciencespo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01071879
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Submitted on : Monday, October 6, 2014 - 11:30:08 PM
Last modification on : Monday, March 21, 2022 - 2:50:42 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, April 14, 2017 - 2:08:52 PM

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Julia Cage, Valeria Rueda. The LongTerm Effects of the Printing Press in SubSaharan Africa. 2014. ⟨hal-01071879⟩

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