BACKGROUND

The Cape of Good Hope Panel is a series of annual tax censuses (or opgaafrolle) collected by the colonial authorities in the seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Cape Colony. The censuses contain information not only about the complete settler population – by the end of the period, a total of more than 50 000 individuals – but also the enslaved and indigenous Khoesan population that lived and worked within the colonial economy.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (The establishment, growth and legacy of a settler colony: Quantitative panel studies of the political economy of Cape Colony – Dnr: M20-0041), the purpose of this project is to transcribe the full series of tax censuses, match households across censuses, match census households to other sources (like probate inventories and auction rolls) and match census households across generations (using genealogical records). This would allow us to investigate questions about the evolution of living standards and economic development, inequality and social mobility, networks and elite formation and slavery and labour coercion.

We aim to, ultimately, combine the wealth of data with innovative techniques to analyse and understand the economic development of this pre-industrial, colonial society.

THE TEAM

Erik Green

Department of Economic History, Lund University

Johan Fourie

Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University

Ann Carlos

Department of Economics, University of Colorado Boulder

Jeanne Cilliers

Department of Economic History, Lund University

Kate Ekama

Department of History, Stellenbosch University

Katherine Eriksson

Department of Economics, University of California Davis

Calumet Links

Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University

Igor Martin

Department of Economic History, Lund University

Anne McCants

Department of History, Massachusetts Institutes of Technology

Auke Rijpma

Department of History, Utrecht University

Robert Ross

Department of History, Leiden University

Dieter von Fintel

Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University

ADVISORY BOARD

Emmanuel
Akyeampong

Harvard University

Wayne
Dooling

SOAS University of London

Joseph
Ferrie

Northwestern University

Laura
Mitchell

UC Irvine

Sheilagh
Ogilvie

Oxford University

Jan Luiten
van Zanden

Utrecht University

CONTACT US

Madeleine Jarl

Research secretary
Lund University

PARTNERS

We are grateful to the following supporters, without which this project would not be possible: