Klas Rönnbäck, The transatlantic slave trade and social stratification on the Gold Coast

The paper is concerned with the impact of the transatlantic slave trade on African economies. It focuses upon the case of the Gold Coast, studying quantitatively the impact on the social stratification of Gold Coast societies. The paper argues that the demand for provisions from the external slave trade was too small to have any substantial direct positive linkage effects for the development of commercial agriculture in the rural part of the Gold Coast. Some labourers in the coastal European enclaves experienced an initial temporary boom in living standards, but soon a period of decline took precedent. Only a small group of highly privileged, key employees were able to gain consistently from their positions working for the European slave traders.