My research interests lie in the fields of social and economic inequality, institutions and development in Africa and the Americas, with a focus on the impact of colonialism and slavery.
My current research delves into long-terms inequality in a Caribbean slave plantation society. The project examines the persistence of wealth over the long-run and across some major institutional breaks, i.e. slave trade abolition and emancipation. The aim of the project is to assess whether slave plantation societies were actually more unequal than settler colonies as often claimed by scholars, despite very little evidence to support the claim.
Previously, I studied the connection between social stratification, ideals and institutions in a black settler colony in the early nineteenth century. I found that institutions, and consequently inequality, are neither the deterministic outcome of factor endowment nor are they the result of the settlement process in itself. Rather, I find that institutions can be heavily shaped by ideals and ideas to a much larger extent than so far argued in the scholarly debate.
I also dealt with the effect of trade liberalization on GDP growth in post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa and on wage compensation or European skilled workers relocating to Africa in the late 18th century.
- Institutions, Colonialism and Slavery
- Social and Economic Inequality
- Development and Persistency
- Global Economic History
- Research Methods and Quantitative Methods
- African Economic History
Reversal of fortune or persistence of wealth? Institutions and wealth inequality in a Caribbean plantation economy, 1750s to 1917, with Klas Rönnbäck and Dimitrios Theodoridis (University of Gothenburg)
You can read Dr Galli's CV here: Dr Stefania Galli CV [PDF]