Jul 12, 2013

The Historical Effects of the Printing Press (SS-Africa)

From the conclusion of a new paper by Cage & Rueda (July 2013):
In this paper, we study the impact of the early introduction of the printing press by Protestant missionaries in the 19th century. The evidence we obtain from a variety of identification strategies is consistent with our hypothesis that the early introduction of the printing press had some long-term effect on newspaper readership. Moreover its effect goes beyond literacy and education. Through its impact on newspaper readership, we find that proximity to the printing press also increases civic attitudes at the local level. This is of particular interest in the sub-Saharan African context where there is still much to do to fight against corruption and to improve democratic institutions.

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