Legacy, location, and labor: Accounting for racial differences in postbellum cotton production
Many postbellum southern farms specialized in cotton, but black-operated farms planted much larger shares of cotton than white-operated farms. This paper tests various explanations for the pattern of specialization using 1879 farm-specific data. We find that the cross-sectional racial variation in cotton share is largely explained by location and on-farm labor supply conditions, consequences of the legacy of slavery, rather than debt constraints.
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