New deal or no deal in the Cotton South: The effect of the AAA on the agricultural labor structure
The Agricultural Adjustment Act has often been held responsible for the rapid reduction of share tenants and sharecroppers (laborers paid shares of the crop) during the 1930s. However, this conclusion has come with limited empirical backing. We shed new light on the consequences of this New Deal policy by empirically testing the role that the AAA cotton reduction program had on the displacement of share tenants and sharecroppers in the Cotton South. The results suggest that the AAA played a significant role in the displacement of black and white sharecroppers and black managing tenants even though it was a violation of AAA contracts for landlords to displace these workers.
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