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A Peculiar Sample: a reply to Steckel and Ziebarth


  • Jonathan Pritchett

    () (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Herman Freudenberger

    () (Department of Economics, Tulane University)


Steckel and Ziebarth (2014) find that biases in height by age imposed by traders versus non-traders were negligible. Importantly, their method of identifying traders differs from that of Pritchett and Freudenberger (1992). Using a sample of inward coastwise manifests for the port of New Orleans, we show that Steckel and Ziebarth made errors classifying shippers, that they underestimate the relative number of slaves shipped by traders, and that their empirical estimates of selection bias are attenuated towards zero.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Pritchett & Herman Freudenberger, 2015. "A Peculiar Sample: a reply to Steckel and Ziebarth," Working Papers 1504, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1504

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1979. "The Structure of Slave Prices in New Orleans, 1804 to 1862," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(4), pages 496-518, October.
    2. Calomiris, Charles W. & Pritchett, Jonathan B., 2009. "Preserving Slave Families for Profit: Traders' Incentives and Pricing in the New Orleans Slave Market," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(04), pages 986-1011, December.
    3. Steckel, Richard H. & Ziebarth, Nicolas, 2013. "A Troublesome Statistic: Traders and Coastal Shipments in the Westward Movement of Slaves," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(03), pages 792-809, September.
    4. Choo, Eugene & Eid, Jean, 2008. "Interregional Price Difference in the New Orleans Auctions Market for Slaves," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 486-509.
    5. Pritchett, Jonathan B. & Freudenberger, Herman, 1992. "A Peculiar Sample: The Selection of Slaves for the New Orleans Market," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(01), pages 109-127, March.
    6. Jonathan B. Pritchett & Richard M. Chamberlain, 1993. "Selection in the Market for Slaves: New Orleans, 1830–1860," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 461-473.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schneider, Eric B., 2018. "Sample selection biases and the historical growth pattern of children," Economic History Working Papers 87075, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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