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Managerial Strategies of the Cotton South

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  • Saito, Tetsuya

Abstract

Relative efficiencies of antebellum slave farms are suggested by many empirical studies. This paper considers a theoretical aspect of those results using a repeated principal-agent problem. Within its theoretical analysis, with relevance to profitability of slave farms, it will be shown that when inter-temporal punishments are necessary and when they can perform efficiently in production. Applying those theoretical results, some empirical studies on relative profitability and relative efficiencies are discussed. In the empirical study, relative efficiencies of each farm scale—free farms, task farms, and gang farms—are estimated region by region by a stochastic profit frontier model.

Suggested Citation

  • Saito, Tetsuya, 2005. "Managerial Strategies of the Cotton South," MPRA Paper 181, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:181
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/181/1/MPRA_paper_181.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. Radner, Roy, 1985. "Repeated Principal-Agent Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1173-1198, September.
    3. Domar, Evsey D. & Machina, Mark J., 1984. "On the Profitability of Russian Serfdom," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(04), pages 919-955, December.
    4. David, Paul A. & Temin, Peter, 1974. "Slavery: The Progressive Institution?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(03), pages 739-783, September.
    5. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
    6. Battese, George E. & Coelli, Tim J., 1988. "Prediction of firm-level technical efficiencies with a generalized frontier production function and panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 387-399, July.
    7. Fogel, Robert W & Engerman, Stanley L, 1980. "Explaining the Relative Efficiency of Slave Agriculture in the Antebellum South: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 672-690, September.
    8. T. Bergstrom, 1971. "On the Existence and Optimality of Competitive Equilibrium for a Slave Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 23-36.
    9. William L. Miller, 1965. "A Note on the Importance of the Interstate Slave Trade of the Ante Bellum South," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 181-181.
    10. 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 275-296, June.
    11. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1984. "Slavery and Supervision in Comparative Perspective: A Model," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(03), pages 635-668, September.
    12. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
    13. Field, Elizabeth B, 1988. "The Relative Efficiency of Slavery Revisited: A Translog Production Function Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 543-549, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relative efficiency of antebellum slave farms; repeated principal-agent problem; profit maximizing contracts; stick and carrot on plantations;

    JEL classification:

    • N51 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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