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‘The Curse of the Caribbean’? Agency’s impact on the efficiency of sugar estates in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, 1814-1829


  • Simon D. Smith

    () (University of Oxford, University of York)

  • Martin Forster

    () (University of Oxford, University of York)


This study estimates agency’s impact on the efficiency of sugar plantations on St.Vincent and the Grenadines during the early 19th century. Using a panel data set covering the years 1814-1829, a series of stochastic frontier models are estimated to investigate whether estates employing agents were more technically efficient than those managed by the owners themselves. Multiple imputation methods are used to deal with missing data problems. There is no evidence in any of the models estimated to suggest that estates under agency were less efficient than those that were directed by their owners. Estimates from a number of models suggest that agent-operated estates were more efficient.

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  • Simon D. Smith & Martin Forster, 2013. "‘The Curse of the Caribbean’? Agency’s impact on the efficiency of sugar estates in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, 1814-1829," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _112, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_112

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Paul Carvalho & Christian Dippel, 2016. "Elite Identity and Political Accountability: A Tale of Ten Islands," NBER Working Papers 22777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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