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Surviving Andersonville: The Benefits of Social Networks in POW Camps

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  • Dora L. Costa
  • Matthew E. Kahn

Abstract

Twenty-seven percent of the Union Army prisoners captured July 1863 or later died in captivity. At Andersonville, the death rate may have been as high as 40 percent. How did men survive such horrific conditions? Using two independent datasets, we find that friends had a statistically significant positive effect on survival probabilities and that the closer the ties between friends as measured by such identifiers as ethnicity, kinship, and the same hometown, the bigger was the impact of friends on survival probabilities. (JEL N41, Z13)

Suggested Citation

  • Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2007. "Surviving Andersonville: The Benefits of Social Networks in POW Camps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1467-1487, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:4:p:1467-1487
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.4.1467
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Of Birds and Men
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-11-20 21:38:00
    2. Social Capital's Role in Coping in Disaster Areas
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-08-29 20:20:00
    3. Vote for Dora L. Costa for the AEA's Executive Committee!
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-08-01 20:16:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Edwards & Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2012. "Contract enforcement, institutions, and social capital: the Maghribi traders reappraised," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 421-444, May.
    2. Franklin G. Mixon & Rand W. Ressler & Richard J. Cebula, 2012. "Beyond the Friday night lights: Social networks, migration, and individual success in college football," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 16-26.
    3. Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2010. "Social Interactions," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 451-478, September.
    4. C. Kirabo Jackson & Elias Bruegmann, 2009. "Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other: The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 85-108, October.
    5. Dora Costa, 2012. "Scarring and Mortality Selection Among Civil War POWs: A Long-Term Mortality, Morbidity, and Socioeconomic Follow-Up," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(4), pages 1185-1206, November.
    6. Dora L. Costa & Heather DeSomer & Eric Hanss & Christopher Roudiez & Sven E. Wilson & Noelle Yetter, 2017. "Union Army veterans, all grown up," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 79-95, April.
    7. Adelman, Sarah, 2013. "Keep your friends close: The effect of local social networks on child human capital outcomes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 284-298.
    8. repec:eee:regeco:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:289-299 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Clifford G. Holderness & Jeffrey Pontiff, 2012. "Hierarchies and the Survival of Prisoners of War During World War II," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(10), pages 1873-1886, October.
    10. Skarbek, David, 2012. "Prison gangs, norms, and organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 96-109.
    11. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn & Christopher Roudiez & Sven Wilson, 2016. "Persistent Social Networks: Civil War Veterans who Fought Together Co-Locate in Later Life," NBER Working Papers 22397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Braggion, F., 2008. "Managers, Firms and (Secret) Social Networks : The Economics of Freemasonry," Discussion Paper 2008-36, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    13. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2009. "Connective Capital as Social Capital: The Value of Problem-Solving Networks for Team Players in Firms," NBER Working Papers 15619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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