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Legacy, location, and labor: Accounting for racial differences in postbellum cotton production

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  • Canaday, Neil
  • Jaremski, Matthew

Abstract

Many postbellum southern farms specialized in cotton, but black-operated farms planted much larger shares of cotton than white-operated farms. This paper tests various explanations for the pattern of specialization using 1879 farm-specific data. We find that the cross-sectional racial variation in cotton share is largely explained by location and on-farm labor supply conditions, consequences of the legacy of slavery, rather than debt constraints.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 49 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 291-302

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:49:y:2012:i:3:p:291-302

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

Related research

Keywords: Postbellum Agriculture; Cotton production; Land–labor ratio;

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  1. McGuire, Robert & Higgs, Robert, 1977. "Cotton, corn, and risk in the nineteenth century: Another view," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 167-182, April.
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  7. Brambilla, Irene & Porto, Guido, 2005. "Farm Productivity and Market Structure: Evidence from Cotton Reforms in Zambia," Working Papers 5, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  8. Harris, J. William, 1994. "Crop Choices in the Piedmont Before and After the Civil War," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 526-542, September.
  9. Temin, Peter, 1979. "Freedom and coercion: Notes on the analysis of debt peonage in One Kind of Freedom," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 56-63, January.
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  12. Ransom, Roger L. & Sutch, Richard, 1972. "Debt Peonage in the Cotton South After the Civil War," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(03), pages 641-669, September.
  13. Angel López-Nicolás & Jaume García & Pedro J. Hernández, 2001. "How wide is the gap? An investigation of gender wage differences using quantile regression," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 149-167.
  14. Suresh Naidu, 2010. "Recruitment Restrictions and Labor Markets: Evidence from the Postbellum U.S. South," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 413-445, 04.
  15. José A. F. Machado & José Mata, 2001. "Earning functions in Portugal 1982-1994: Evidence from quantile regressions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 115-134.
  16. Fishback, Price V., 1989. "Debt peonage in postbellum Georgia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 219-236, April.
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