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Igor B. Martins

College positions:
Affiliated Postdoctoral Researcher
Economic History
Lund University
Contact details:

Dr. Igor B. Martins

Dr. Martins is an Economic Historian and a postdoctoral associate fellow at the University of Cambridge and Lund University, Sweden.

His Ph.D. research – finished in 2020 — focused on labour markets on the presence of coerced labor, more specifically, slavery. It developed the idea that slaves contributed to the production processes as labor and capital inputs. With that in mind, the demand for coercion is not only a function of labor demands but also a function of capital demands, ultimately changing our understanding of why slavery emerged, persisted, and declined. Analsying the exploitation of slaves beyond labour is a subject of particular significance in the economic history of Africa and the Americas. Before joining Cambridge, he was a member of the biggest African economic history project in the world named “Quantitative panel studies of the political economy of the Cape Colony”.

In Cambridge, working under the auspices of Professor Gareth Austin he works on a project named “Where have all the Workers Gone? Labour and Work in Ghana, 1951-2010”. This project combines economic and social historical perspectives on the post-colonial era in Africa; a period of labor history so far lacking long-term studies. Within the subject of labor market integration, his goal is to investigate the role of formal and informal coercive arrangements in the process of labor market integration in post-independence Ghana. Questions concerning how such arrangements may have been detrimental to a larger economic transformation of the West African nation are of utmost interest.

Complementary to his research assignments, his teaching experience encompasses courses covering academic writing, methods, and colonialism in Africa and Latin America.