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A new perspective on antebellum slavery: Public policy and slave prices

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  • Mark Yanochik
  • Bradley Ewing
  • Mark Thornton

Abstract

Modern economic historians have focused their attention on the supervision and productivity of slavery and have largely ignored the roles that public policy and slave security played in the profitability of antebellum slavery. Other scholars have focused on the public security policy in the slave codes, but only as a determinant of the legal status of slaves, not their economic value. This paper investigates the relationship between slave prices and two public policies that enhanced slave security: manumission laws and slave patrol statutes. The evidence suggests that these policies were associated with slave prices and that public policy did play a significant role in the security of slave property and, thus, the viability and profitability of slavery in the Antebellum South. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2001

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Yanochik & Bradley Ewing & Mark Thornton, 2001. "A new perspective on antebellum slavery: Public policy and slave prices," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(3), pages 330-340, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:29:y:2001:i:3:p:330-340
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02300553
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF02300553
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles W. Calomiris & Jonathan Pritchett, 2016. "Betting on Secession: Quantifying Political Events Surrounding Slavery and the Civil War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(1), pages 1-23, January.
    2. Ewing, Bradley T. & Payne, James E. & Thornton, Mark & Yanochik, Mark A., 2002. "Price Transmission in the Antebellum Slave Markets: A Time Series Analysis," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 32(2), pages 275-292, Summer/Fa.

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