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Black and White Labor Market Outcomes in the 19th Century American South

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  • Scott A. Carson

Abstract

Modern labor studies consider the relationship between wages and biological markers. A relevant historical question is the relationship between occupational status and biological markers. This study demonstrates that 19th century stature and BMIs were significant in Texas occupation selection; however, stature and BMIs were not significant in the decision to participate in the Southwest’s labor market. In the post-bellum south, labor markets were segregated, and white laborers were at a distinct occupational and social advantage relative to their black counterparts. It is documented here that the probability of being farmers and unskilled workers were comparable by race. However, whites had greater access to white-collar and skilled occupations.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott A. Carson, 2007. "Black and White Labor Market Outcomes in the 19th Century American South," CESifo Working Paper Series 2079, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2079
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2079.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. R. Rees & John Komlos & Ngo V. Long & Ulrich Woitek, 2003. "Optimal food allocation in a slave economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(1), pages 21-36, February.
    2. Steckel, Richard H., 1979. "Slave height profiles from coastwise manifests," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 363-380, October.
    3. Costa, Dora L. (ed.), 2003. "Health and Labor Force Participation over the Life Cycle," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226116181.
    4. Steckel, Richard H., 1989. "Household migration and rural settlement in the United States, 1850-1860," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 190-218, April.
    5. Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "The economic foundations of East-West migration during the 19th century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 14-36, January.
    6. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    19th century US labor markets; labor force participation; stature and BMI;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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