On settler capitalisms: Erik Green, ‘The development of agrarian capitalism revisited: Measuring the role of tenant labour on settler farms in Southern Rhodesia, 1900-1960’, Workshop on Colonialism, Growth and Development in the Southern Hemisphere, 1800-2000, 2015
Abstract: In this paper we have used primary and secondary sources to make, to our knowledge, the first attempt ever to quantify the role non-wage labour on settler farms in colonial Africa. We have used Southern Rhodesia as a case in point and focused primarily on the role of tenant labour. Our findings show that the rise of wage labour did not mark the end of the latter. On the contrary, the two forms of labour acted as complements rather than substitutes. Our results find support in the more theoretical literature on agrarian labour contracts, which is a strand of literature that has been surprisingly neglected in studies of rural labour relations in colonial Africa. Based on our new estimate we call for an empirical and theoretical more grounded understanding of the rise of agrarian capitalism in colonial Africa.
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