Agricultural Labor Productivity in the Lower South, 1720-1800
AbstractAgriculture dominated the economy of eighteenth-century British America, and the pace of agricultural productivity advance was the primary determinant of the rate of economic growth. In this paper we offer new measures of agricultural productivity advance in the Lower South between 1720 and 1800. Past efforts and quantification have focused exclusively on the region's export performance. In addition to extending and refining measures of regional exports, we develop two new series based on the value of slave labor and on measurements of total agricultural production in the region. Despite differences in their short-term behavior, all of the indices show that long-run productivity improvements were modest at best, and may have been negative. Surprisingly, taking account of production for domestic consumption yields the most favorable long-term performance.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8375.
Date of creation: Jul 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Mancall, Peter, Josh Rosenbloom and Thomas Weiss. "Agricultural Labor Productivity in the Lower South, 1720-1800." Explorations in Economic History (Oct 2002): 390-424.
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Other versions of this item:
- Mancall, Peter C. & Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Weiss, Thomas, 2002. "Agricultural labor productivity in the Lower South, 1720-1800," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 390-424, October.
- N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries
- N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2001-10-16 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2001-07-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2001-10-22 (Efficiency & Productivity)
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