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Prince Young Aboagye Lund University

Colonial Ghana has attracted much attention as a successful peasant-led, cocoa-driven economy. Using a social tables approach, we find that income inequality was high prior to the introduction of cocoa; remained stable in the early decades of the twentieth century; declined during the Great Depression in the early 1930s; and, finally, increased in the second half of the colonial era. Cocoa played an important role directly and indirectly, as rapidly rising cocoa prices after the Great Depression benefitted the large-scale cocoa farmers, and cocoa-led growth spread to both the private and public sectors and resulted in increasing incomes for government employees, skilled and commercial workers.

Data is available here.