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Journal Articles American Economic Journal: Applied Economics Year : 2016

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

Julia Cage
Valeria Rueda

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.

Dates and versions

hal-03571242 , version 1 (13-02-2022)

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Julia Cage, Valeria Rueda. The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2016, 8 (3), pp.69-99. ⟨10.1257/app.20140379⟩. ⟨hal-03571242⟩
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