Up from Poverty? The 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery and the Long-run Distribution of Wealth
The state of Georgia allocated most of its land to the public through a system of lotteries. These episodes provide unusual opportunities to assess the long-term impact of large shocks to wealth, as winning was uncorrelated with individual characteristics and participation was nearly universal among the eligible population of adult white male Georgians. We use one of these episodes to examine the idea that the lower tail of the wealth distribution reflects in part a wealth-based poverty trap because of limited access to capital. Using wealth measured in the 1850 Census manuscripts, we follow up on a sample of men eligible to win in the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery. We assess the impact of lottery winning on the distribution of wealth 18 years after the fact. Winners are on average richer (by an amount close to the median of 1850 wealth), but mainly due to a (net) shifting of mass from the middle to the upper tail of the wealth distribution. The lower tail is largely unaffected.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||DAE DEV LS|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fogel, Robert W & Engerman, Stanley L, 1977. "Explaining the Relative Efficiency of Slave Agriculture in the Antebellum South," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 275-96, June.
- Alvin S. Tostlebe, 1957. "The Value of Physical Capital in Agriculture," NBER Chapters, in: Capital in Agriculture: Its Formation and Financing Since 1870, pages 52-73 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael Carter & Christopher Barrett, 2006. "The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 178-199.
- Wishart, David M., 1995. "Evidence of Surplus Production in the Cherokee Nation Prior to Removal," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(01), pages 120-138, March.
- Weiman, David F., 1991. "Peopling the Land by Lottery? The Market in Public Lands and the Regional Differentiation of Territory on the Georgia Frontier," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(04), pages 835-860, December.
- Wright, Gavin & Kunreuther, Howard, 1975. "Cotton, Corn and Risk in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(03), pages 526-551, September.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993.
"Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Francisco J. Buera & Yongseok Shin, 2013.
"Financial Frictions and the Persistence of History: A Quantitative Exploration,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 221 - 272.
- Yongseok Shin & Francisco Buera, 2007. "Financial Frictions and the Persistence of History: A Quantitative Exploration," 2007 Meeting Papers 300, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Francisco J. Buera & Yongseok Shin, 2010. "Financial Frictions and the Persistence of History: A Quantitative Exploration," NBER Working Papers 16400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins, 2013. "Surnames and social mobility: England 1230-2012," Economic History Working Papers 54515, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
- Wright, Gavin, 1979. "The Efficiency of Slavery: Another Interpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 219-26, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19175. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.