Imperial Profit

  • Klas RönnbäckEmail author
  • Oskar Broberg
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


In this chapter, we analyse what role a number of imperialist policies and colonial institutions played for the estimated return on investment in Africa. We study whether two particular imperialist events—the occupation of Egypt in 1882 and the South African War of 1899–1902—had any impact upon the return on investment in these respective parts of Africa. We furthermore study the impact of different colonial institutions. One such institution studied here is the use of chartered companies for the colonization of African countries. We furthermore exploit the distinction between settler and non-settler colonies to analyse the impact of a bundle of colonial institutions associated with settler colonies, in particular, upon the return on investment in these types of colonies. We finally turn to studying the return on investment in connection with decolonization during the 1950s and 1960s and whether decolonization led to the realization of country risk for the investors. We conclude that while specific imperial policies and colonial institutions influenced the return on investment temporarily, this did not translate into a higher average return on investment throughout the period under study.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economy and SocietyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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