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Pieter (Jop) WOLTJER

Postdoc Economic History – University of Groningen

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Economics

Article: An Economic Rationale for the West African Scramble?

The Commercial Transition and the Commodity Price Boom of 1835-85

ABSTRACT: We use a new trade dataset showing that nineteenth century Sub-Saharan Africa experienced a terms of trade boom comparable to other parts of the ‘global periphery’. A sharp rise in export prices in the five decades before the scramble (1835-1885) Continue reading “Article: An Economic Rationale for the West African Scramble?”

Working Paper: Commodities, Prices and Risk

The Changing Markets for Non-slave Products in Pre-abolition West Africa

ABSTRACT: Using a newly constructed dataset on the quantities and prices of African commodities over the long 18th century this paper provides new insights into the changing nature of the non-slave trade with West Africa in the era before the abolition Continue reading “Working Paper: Commodities, Prices and Risk”

Column: Onwards and Upwards

American Productivity Growth during the Great Depression

The Great Depression is considered one of the darkest times for the US economy, but some argue that the US economy experienced strong productivity growth over the period. This column reassesses this performance using improved Continue reading “Column: Onwards and Upwards”

Column: An Economic Rationale for the African Scramble

The partitioning of Africa by European imperial powers in the late 19th century irreversibly transformed the long-term development trajectories of African economies. Yet, the motives for, and timing of, the scramble remain poorly understood. This column argues that the changes in African Continue reading “Column: An Economic Rationale for the African Scramble”

Working Paper: A Vision of the Growth Process in a Technologically Progressive Economy

ABSTRACT: We develop new aggregate and sectoral Total Factor Productivity (TFP) estimates for the United States between 1899 and 1941 through better coverage of sectors and better measured labor quality, and show TFP-growth was lower than previously thought, broadly based across sectors Continue reading “Working Paper: A Vision of the Growth Process in a Technologically Progressive Economy”

Working Paper: An Economic Rationale for the African Scramble

The Commercial Transition and the Commodity Price Boom of 1845-1885

ABSTRACT: This is the first study to present a unified quantitative account of African commodity trade in the long 19th century from the zenith of the Atlantic slave trade (1790s) to the eve of World War II (1939). Drawing evidence from a new dataset Continue reading “Working Paper: An Economic Rationale for the African Scramble”

Article: Taking Over

A New Appraisal of the Anglo-American Productivity Gap and the Nature of American Economic Leadership ca. 1910

ABSTRACT: This article re-examines how and when the USA closed the gap and ultimately overtook the UK in terms of both labour productivity and real income. On the basis of a set of sectoral productivity benchmarks for the year 1910 Continue reading “Article: Taking Over”

Working Paper: Taking Over

A New US/UK Productivity Benchmark and the Nature of American Economic
Leadership ca. 1910

ABSTRACT: This paper offers a direct industry-of-origin benchmark for the United States and the United Kingdom around 1910. The industry-of-origin approach allows for a disaggregation of international productivity differentials Continue reading “Working Paper: Taking Over”

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