Cultural persistence as behavior towards risk: evidence from the North Carolina Cherokees, 1850-1880
AbstractCan economic theory help explain the persistence of a cultural enclave among the Cherokee Indians living in North Carolina during the nineteenth century? To date, Fogelson and Kutsche (1961) and Finger (1984) identify the continuation of a communal, labor-sharing agricultural institution called the gadugi as simply an example of Cherokee agency during a period of substantial upheaval. I contribute to the historiography on ancestral labor traditions by adopting Kimball's (1988) framework on the function of farming cooperatives to test whether this arrangement sprung up as a form of insurance against the idiosyncratic risk inherent in southern agriculture. Data collected from the 1850-1880 manuscript census returns on North Carolina Cherokee farms are used to compute the variance of household self-sufficiency, which appears substantial enough to warrant a non-market mechanism to pool risk.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33915.
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Income Distribution 2.18(2009): pp. 3-15
Risk-Sharing; Cooperatives; Cherokee Indians;
Other versions of this item:
- Matthew T. Gregg, 2009. "Cultural Persistence as Behavior Towards Risk: Evidence from the North Carolina Cherokees, 1850-1880," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 18(2), pages 3-15, June.
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms
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