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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13 September 2021
It was a data-heavy week in SA, with the 2021Q2 real GDP data indicating that the economy had better-than-expected recovery momentum in the first half of the year. While growth remained solid in the second quarter, both the survey and actual data released last week revealed the significant impact that the range of shocks at the start of the third quarter...

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