The Economic Case Against Colonialism

IEA research featured in The Times

New research by IEA Editorial Director Kristian Niemietz on the economics of slavery and colonialism has been featured in The Times.

The piece said:

“[Imperial Measurement: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Western Colonialism] is a fascinating exploration of the economics of colonialism, which, as Adam Smith pointed out as early as 1776, was of no great benefit to the British crown or its people: ‘Under the present system of management … Great Britain derives nothing but loss from the dominion which she assumes over her colonies’.

“Niemietz concludes that colonial trade contributed only a ‘small proportion’ of Britain’s economy — at its absolute zenith, between 7 and 15 per cent of our GDP — and that much of that trade might have occurred anyway without the imposition of British rule. Slavery was even less lucrative for the nation as a whole. At its peak, the income from our sugar plantations contributed no more than 2.5 per cent to the economy of the UK — substantially less than that accrued from sheep farming, as Niemietz points out.”

Read the full piece here.

Read a full copy of Imperial Measurement to learn more.