Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article
Title The long term effects of the printing press in Sub Saharan Africa
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 1-49
URL http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00844446/
Abstract
This article delves into the relationship between newspaper readership and civic attitudes, and its e?ect on economic development. To this end, we investigate the long-term consequences of the introduction of the printing press in the 19th century. In sub-Saharan Africa, Protestant missionaries were the first both to import the printing press technology 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 educational and health-related investments undertaken by the mission. We show that, within regions located close to missions, proximity to a printing press significantly increases newspaper readership today. We also document a strong association between proximity to a printing press and contemporary economic development. Our results are robust to a variety of identification strategies.

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