A West African Experiment: Constructing a GDP Series for Colonial Ghana, 1891-1950

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A West African Experiment : Constructing a GDP Series for Colonial Ghana, 1891-1950. / Jerven, Morten.

In: Economic History Review, Vol. 67, No. 4, 2014, p. 964-992.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - A West African Experiment

T2 - Constructing a GDP Series for Colonial Ghana, 1891-1950

AU - Jerven, Morten

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - There has been a recent surge in research on long-term African development. For this research agenda to be fruitful and its theories tested, it is crucial to have consistent estimates of economic change. However, there is a lack of reliable time series data for the colonial period in Sub-Saharan Africa. This article contributes new time series data for the Gold Coast and Ghana between 1890 and 2010 and in particular a new GDP time series for Ghana for the years 1891–1957. The series implies a sustained period of economic expansion from the late nineteenth century. This suggests a revision of some prevalent truths about the history of economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, and points the way forward for expanding the database to cover the colonial period for other African economies.

AB - There has been a recent surge in research on long-term African development. For this research agenda to be fruitful and its theories tested, it is crucial to have consistent estimates of economic change. However, there is a lack of reliable time series data for the colonial period in Sub-Saharan Africa. This article contributes new time series data for the Gold Coast and Ghana between 1890 and 2010 and in particular a new GDP time series for Ghana for the years 1891–1957. The series implies a sustained period of economic expansion from the late nineteenth century. This suggests a revision of some prevalent truths about the history of economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, and points the way forward for expanding the database to cover the colonial period for other African economies.

U2 - 10.1111/1468-0289.12066

DO - 10.1111/1468-0289.12066

M3 - Article

VL - 67

SP - 964

EP - 992

JO - Economic History Review

JF - Economic History Review

SN - 1468-0289

IS - 4

ER -