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War and wealth: economic opportunity before and after the Civil War, 1850-1870

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  • Taylor Jaworski
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    Abstract

    This study uses two samples of linked adult males to examine wealth accumulation by region and occupation between 1850 and 1870. Consistent with past research, the findings here show that wealth accumulation was substantial in the South in the 1850s and stagnant in the 1860s. The findings also suggest improvement in the wealth position of white-collar professionals and blue-collar workers across the entire period, including the Civil War decade, while farmers suffered in the immediate postbellum period. Finally, the value of slaves in 1860 was positively correlated with wealth in 1870, with implications for the legacy of slavery.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22303/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 22303.

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    Length: 65 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:22303

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    Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
    Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/
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    1. Steckel, Richard H. & Moehling, Carolyn M., 2001. "Rising Inequality: Trends In The Distribution Of Wealth In Industrializing New England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(01), pages 160-183, March.
    2. Alston, Lee J & Ferrie, Joseph P, 1993. "Paternalism in Agricultural Labor Contracts in the U.S. South: Implications for the Growth of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 852-76, September.
    3. Field, Alexander James, 1978. "Sectoral shift in antebellum Massachusetts: A reconsideration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 146-171, April.
    4. Goldin, Claudia D. & Lewis, Frank D., 1975. "The Economic Cost of the American Civil War: Estimates and Implications," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(02), pages 299-326, June.
    5. Haines, Michael R. & Craig, Lee A. & Weiss, Thomas, 2003. "The Short and the Dead: Nutrition, Mortality, and the in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 382-413, June.
    6. Ransom, Roger & Sutch, Richard, 1975. "The impact of the Civil War and of emancipation on Southern agriculture," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-28, January.
    7. Wright, Gavin, 1974. "Cotton Competition and the Post-Bellum Recovery of the American South," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(03), pages 610-635, September.
    8. Atack, Jeremy & Bateman, Fred, 1981. "Egalitarianism, Inequality, and Age: The Rural North in 1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 85-93, March.
    9. Herscovici, Steven, 1998. "Migration and Economic Mobility: Wealth Accumulation and Occupational Change Among Antebellum Migrants and Persisters," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(04), pages 927-956, December.
    10. Walker, Thomas R., 2000. "Economic Opportunity on the Urban Frontier: Wealth and Nativity in Early San Francisco," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 258-277, July.
    11. Galenson, David W., 1991. "Economic Opportunity on the urban frontier: nativity, work, and wealth in early chicago," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(03), pages 581-603, September.
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