Carrots and Coercion in Labor Mobility and Economic Development
Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Noel Maurer, George Washington University
Displacement and Development: Long Term Impacts of Population Transfer in India
AbstractThe 1947 partition of British India resulted in one of the largest, most rapid population transfers of the twentieth century. Using refugee presence by 1951 as a measure of partition-induced population transfer, and district level data on agricultural output between 1911-2009, we find that areas with more refugees had higher average yields, were more likely to take up high yielding varieties of seeds, and were more likely to use agricultural technologies. The increase in yields and use of agricultural technology coincide with the Green Revolution in India. Using pre-partition data, we show that refugee placement is uncorrelated with soil and water table characteristics, agricultural infrastructure, and agricultural yields before 1947; hence, the effects are not explained by selective movement into districts with a higher potential for agricultural development. We highlight refugee education and land reforms in refugee areas as two potential mechanisms that could be driving these effects.
Expropriation with partial compensation: Slaveholders' reparations and intergenerational outcomes
AbstractCan wealth shocks have intergenerational health consequences? We use the partial compensation slave owners received after the 1834 slave emancipation in the British Cape Colony to measure the intergenerational effects of a wealth loss on longevity. Because the partial compensation was uncorrelated to wealth, we can interpret the results as having a causal influence. We find that a greater loss of slave wealth had a negative effect on the longevity of both the generation of slave owners that experienced the shock and their children, but not for grandchildren. We speculate on the mechanisms for this intergenerational persistence.
When Colonization Goes South: Understanding the Reasons Behind the Failure of Wakefield’s Systematic Colonization in South Australia
AbstractBritain after the Napoleonic wars saw the rise of colonial reformers, such as Edward Wakefield, who had extensive influence on British colonial policy. A version of Wakefield’s “System of Colonization” became the basis for an 1834 Act of Parliament establishing the South Australia colony. We use extended versions of Robert Lucas’s 1990 model of a colonial economy to illustrate how Wakefield’s institutions were designed to work. Actual practice followed some of Wakefield’s principles to the letter, with revenues from SA land sales used to subsidize passage for more than 15,000 emigrants over the 1836-1840 period. Other principles, such as surveying land in advance of settlement and maintaining a sufficient price of land, were ignored. Initial problems stemming from delays in surveying and a dysfunctional division of executive authority slowed the economy’s development over its first three years and led to a financial crisis. These difficulties aside, we show that actual SA land institutions were more aligned with geographic and political conditions in SA than the ideal Wakefield institutions and that the SA colony thrived after it took measures to speed surveying and reform its system of divided executive authority.
- N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy