The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Adrian Graves
Reference work entry


The economic, social and political importance of plantations in many regions, the longevity and ubiquity of the institution, its association with slavery and other forms of bonded labour and with colonialism, has given rise to an extensive and rich literature which spans many scholarly disciplines including history, sociology, politics, psychology, anthropology, archaeology and geography. Economists and political economists have been preoccupied with explaining the origins of plantations and evaluating their social and economic effects, both locally and in the broader context of the world economy. A survey of the intellectual origins and thrust of the most recent economic literature, however, illustrates the immense difficulties of theorizing the plantation. The failure to derive universally applicable definitions of the plantation and of the plantation economy lies at the heart of the problem.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Graves
    • 1
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