The Numbers Game and the Profitability of the British Trade in Slaves
More than a century after its termination the slave trade in Africa remains a controversial topic. In particular, disputes continue to wax strong over the profitability of the Atlantic slave trade, on three major dimensions: first, the degree of competition characteristic of the market in slaves; second, the typical magnitude of the rate of profit achieved by enterprises engaged in the “peculiar” industry; third, the status of Eric Williams's hypothesis on the contribution of the slave trade to European industrialization.
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