Göteborg Papers in Economic History
Mortality among European settlers in pre-colonial West Africa: The “White Man’s Grave” revisited
() and Klas Rönnbäck
Abstract: We have created the first longitudinal dataset following
European employees of the English Royal African Company during their time
in West Africa, 1683–1766. The mortality was catastrophically high with
limited geographical differences. Tropical diseases and epidemics thereof,
contributed to the high mortality and strong variations over time. The risk
was highest for the men who had just arrived from Europe but remained high
also after they had spent several years on the coast. The death rate of the
Europeans was increased by both the share of newcomers and by the total
number of men present on the coast.
Keywords: Economic History; Mortality; West Africa; Pre-colonial; “White Man’s Grave”; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: J10; N37; (follow links to similar papers)
50 pages, November 22, 2016
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