Explaining ship traffic fluctuations in the early Cape settlement: 1652–1793

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP01/2008
 
Publication date: 2008
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
 
Abstract:

The only reliable estimate of the number of ships that arrived in the Cape Colony was published by Beyers in 1929. Unfortunately, this data series has a number of restrictions. It only accounts for the number of ships arriving at the Cape during the period 1700–1793. It also does not distinguish between the types of ships used or compensate for the length of their stay. Using a new electronic data source detailing every ship that anchored in Table Bay during the existence of the Dutch East India Company, this paper provides new insights into the pattern of ship traffic fluctuations in the early Cape Colony. Historical evidence from this period supports the empirical results. While many gaps still remain, the new empirical evidence can be used in future research on this neglected period of South Africa’s economic history.

 
JEL Classification:

N17, E32, N77

Keywords:

Cape Colony, Data, Economic History, Dutch East India Company, Ships, Cliometrics

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1 March 2021
Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

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