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Manumission in nineteenth-century Virginia

  • Howard Bodenhorn

    ()

    (Clemson University and NBER, Clemson, SC, USA)

Using previously unexploited data, this paper explores the ages at which slaves were manumitted. OLS estimates reveal that mixed-race slaves, slaves in the tobacco-producing Piedmont, and female slaves of female slave owners were manumitted at younger ages. Weibull proportional hazards estimates imply that the same groups were more likely to be manumitted. The results also reveal a markedly diminishing likelihood of manumission after Nat Turner’s 1831 insurrection in south-central Virginia. The results are consistent with a principal–agent model in which slave owners contracted with slaves over consumption and future manumission to elicit effort and control shirking or other unproductive activities.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11698-010-0056-x
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Article provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its journal Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

Volume (Year): 5 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 145-164

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Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:5:y:2011:i:2:p:145-164
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.cliometrie.org

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  1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, 06.
  2. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2003. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Alexander Wolitzky, 2009. "The Economics of Labor Coercion," NBER Working Papers 15581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. T. Paul Schultz, 2002. "Wage Gains Associated with Height as a Form of Health Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 349-353, May.
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  7. Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher Ruebeck, 2007. "Colourism and African–american wealth: evidence from the nineteenth-century south," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 599-620, July.
  8. Christopher Ruebeck & Susan Averett & Howard Bodenhorn, 2008. "Acting White or Acting Black: Mixed-Race Adolescents' Identity and Behavior," NBER Working Papers 13793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Howard Bodenhorn & Gregory Price, 2009. "Crime and Body Weight in the Nineteenth Century: Was there a Relationship between Brawn, Employment Opportunities and Crime?," NBER Working Papers 15099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jack Eblen, 1974. "New estimates of the vital rates of the United States black population during the nineteenth century," Demography, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 301-319, May.
  11. Howard Bodenhorn, 2006. "Colorism, Complexion Homogamy, and Household Wealth: Some Historical Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 256-260, May.
  12. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Percentiles of Modern Height Standards for Use in Historical Research," NBER Historical Working Papers 0075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2008. "Biological Innovation and Productivity Growth in the Antebellum Cotton Economy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(04), pages 1123-1171, December.
  14. Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Heights and Human Welfare: Recent Developments and New Directions," NBER Working Papers 14536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. T. Paul Schultz, 2002. "Wage Gains Associated with Height as a Form of Health Human Capital," Working Papers 841, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  16. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
  17. Arthur H. Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity, Jr, 2007. "From Dark to Light: Skin Color and Wages Among African-Americans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  18. Arthur H. Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity Jr, 2006. "Shades of Discrimination: Skin Tone and Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 242-245, May.
  19. R. Rees & John Komlos & Ngo V. Long & Ulrich Woitek, 2003. "Optimal food allocation in a slave economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 21-36, 02.
  20. Findlay, Ronald, 1975. "Slavery, Incentives, and Manumission: A Theoretical Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(5), pages 923-33, October.
  21. Howard Bodenhorn, 2006. "Single Parenthood and Childhood Outcomes in the Mid-Nineteenth Century Urban South," NBER Working Papers 12056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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