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Type Journal Article - Journal of Economic History
Title Long-run effects of forced resettlement: Evidence from Apartheid South Africa
Volume 79
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2019
Page numbers 915-953
URL doi:10.1017/S0022050719000512
In an attempt to divide and marginalize the black population, the apartheid regime forcefully relocated some 3.5 million South Africans to rural homelands between 1960 and 1980. This event, considered one of history’s largest social engineering exercises, created overcrowded and economically deprived communities of displaced people. This article uses geo-coded data to explore the long-term effects of removals on current measures of social capital. Comparing people within the same homeland, I show that those living close to former resettlement camps have higher levels of trust towards members of their social network, people in general, and members of other ethnic groups. These findings are important, as solidarity among suppressed people is believed to be a critical factor in explaining the demise of the apartheid regime.

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