Recruitment Restrictions and Labor Markets: Evidence from the Postbellum U.S. South
This article studies the effect of recruitment restrictions on mobility and wages in the postbellum U.S. South. I estimate the effects of criminal fines charged for "enticement" (recruiting workers already under contract) on sharecropper mobility, tenancy choice, and agricultural wages. I find that a $13 (10%) increase in the enticement fine lowered the probability of a move by black sharecroppers by 12%, daily wages by 1 cent (.1%), and the returns to experience for blacks by 0.6% per year. These results are consistent with an on-the-job search model, where the enticement fine raises the cost of recruiting an employed worker. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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