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Determinants of Slave Prices: Louisiana, 1725 to 1820

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  • Ashley N. Coleman

    (Wachovia Bank, Charlotte, NC)

  • William K. Hutchinson

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

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    Abstract

    We utilize a previously untapped data source, Gwendolyn Hall (1999), to examine the market for slaves in Louisiana, both in New Orleans and outside of New Orleans. We are able to study the process of price determination in two separate markets over a period of 95 years for the former and 64 years for the latter. While our findings indicate that both markets valued slave characteristics in a manner that one would expect, we also analyze why particular attributes were valued differently in these two markets. Two shocks to these markets occur in 1808: the Jefferson embargo (December, 1807) and the prohibition of slave imports (January 1, 1808). We analyze how these two shocks differentially affect the value of slave characteristics in these two markets. We find that after the embargo is lifted in 1814, differences in the valuation of slave characteristics between the two regions are greatly diminished.

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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu06-w24.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2006
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0624.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0624

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    Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

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    Keywords: Slavery; factor prices; market integration;

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    1. Leamer, E. & Levingsohn, J., 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," Working Papers 368, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    2. Ashley N. Coleman & William K. Hutchinson, 2005. "Trade Restrictions and Factor Prices: Slave Prices in Early Nineteenth Century US," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0521, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    3. Corden, W.M., 1984. "The normative theory of international trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 63-130 Elsevier.
    4. Douglas A. Irwin, 2001. "The Welfare Cost of Autarky: Evidence from the Jeffersonian Trade Embargo, 1807-1809," NBER Working Papers 8692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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