Economic Philately

Which stamp predicts development and which stamp dissension?

For the answer, Chris Blattman points us to Michael Kevane’s paper on stamps and development.

An analysis of the imagery on postage stamps suggests that regimes in Sudan
and Burkina Faso have pursued very different strategies in representing the
nation. Sudan’s stamps focus on the political center and dominant elite (current
regime, Khartoum politicians, and Arab and Islamic identity) while Burkina
Faso’s stamps focus on society (artists, multiple ethnic groups, and
development). Sudan’s stamps build an image of the nation as being about the
northern-dominated regime in Khartoum (whether military or parliamentary);
Burkina Faso’s stamps project an image of the nation as multi-ethnic and


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