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The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa

Abstract : This article investigates the long-term consequences of the printing press in the 19th century sub-Saharan Africa on social capital nowadays. Protestant missionaries were the first to import the printing press 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 printing-, educational-, and health-related investments undertaken by the mission. We show that, within regions close to missions, proximity to a printing press is associated with higher newspaper readership, trust, education, and political participation.
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Submitted on : Sunday, February 13, 2022 - 10:49:28 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 14, 2022 - 3:52:21 AM




Julia Cage, Valeria Rueda. The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, 2015, Forthcoming. ⟨hal-03571242⟩



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