The Effect of the Tsetse Fly on African Development

  title={The Effect of the Tsetse Fly on African Development},
  author={Marcella Alsan},
  journal={The American Economic Review},
  • M. Alsan
  • Published 2015
  • Economics
  • The American Economic Review
The TseTse fly is unique to Africa and transmits a parasite harmful to humans and lethal to livestock. This paper tests the hypothesis that the TseTse reduced the ability of Africans to generate an agricultural surplus historically. Ethnic groups inhabiting TseTse-suitable areas were less likely to use domesticated animals and the plow, less likely to be politically centralized, and had a lower population density. These correlations are not found in the tropics outside of Africa, where the fly… 

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