Southern Agriculture After Civil War. Effects of Emancipation. Emancipation was the most far reaching property right change in United States economic history, perhaps in world economic history Serfdom in Western Europe disappeared gradually
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Southern Agriculture After Civil War
No census statistics available before 1940, but other work indicates Black income relative to white was about 37% in 1910
Expropriated income / Marginal Revenue product
65% to 50%. If you throw out the high and low estimates its 54%-59% not much difference
After emancipation, the gang system was no longer viable.
The opportunity cost of leisure was reduced (purple dotted line).
The freed slave will reduce his work effort moving to point D.
At point D, even though money income is lower, the slave is better off (higher indifference curve) because he has increased the amount of leisure he is consuming.
It is also possible that money income would increase after emancipation but the value of freedom, measured by the increase in money income, would still underestimate the value of being freed.
To truly measure the value of freedom, must account for the value of increased leisure of freed blacks.
Equations 1, 2, and 3 show how income is measured for each class of tenancy.
If the estimate for each type of tenancy is weighted by the relevancy of they type of tenancy, and estimate of average income per person can be computed.
The numbers are then adjusted for the age distribution of the family.
Black families had more children so per capita income is too low.
1900 Census of Agriculture
In the period from 1880 to 1900, blacks increased their incomes in absolute terms.
Relative to whites, blacks in the last portion of the 19th century did not match the progress of whites.
Dependence on Cotton
Increase in supply outside of US
Income elasticity low
Cotton is the last major US crop to mechanize harvesting
Technical difficulty or backwardness of producers?