Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Lund Papers in Economic History,
Lund University, Department of Economic History

No 124: Moving Forward in African Economic History. Bridging the Gap Between Methods and Sources

Morten Jerven (), Gareth Austin (), Erik Green (), Chibuike Uche (), Ewout Frankema (), Johan Fourie (), Joseph Inikori (), Alexander Moradi () and Ellen Hillbom ()
Additional contact information
Morten Jerven: School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University
Gareth Austin: Department of International History, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
Erik Green: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Chibuike Uche: Department of Banking and Finance, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus
Ewout Frankema: Department of Social and Economic History, Utrecht University, Postal: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Johan Fourie: Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University, Postal: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Joseph Inikori: Department of History, University of Rochester, Postal: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Alexander Moradi: Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Postal: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Ellen Hillbom: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: The field of African economic history is in resurgence. This paper reviews recent and on-going research contributions and notes strengths in their wide methodological, conceptual and topical variety. In these strengths there is also a challenge: different methodological approaches may also result in divisions, particularly on the quantitative versus qualitative axis. The African Economic History Network has recently been formed to bridge the gap between methods and sources and to facilitate intellectual exchanges among the widest possible range of scholars working on Sub-Saharan economic history. This paper outlines current research projects and calls for future research as well as suggesting promising lines of enquiry in the discipline.

Keywords: Africa; economic history; methods; sources; quantitative; qualitative

JEL-codes: N01; N17; N27; N37; N57; N67; N77; N87; N97

41 pages, December 3, 2012

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