EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Biological Innovation and Productivity Growth in the Antebellum Cotton Economy

Alan Olmstead and Paul Rhode

The Journal of Economic History, 2008, vol. 68, issue 4, 1123-1171

Abstract: The cliometrics literature on slave efficiency has generally focused on static questions. We take a decidedly more dynamic approach. Drawing on the records of 142 plantations with 509 crops years, we show that the average daily cotton-picking rate increased about fourfold between 1801 and 1862. We argue that the development and diffusion of new cotton varieties were the primary sources of the increased efficiency. These findings have broad implications for understanding the South's preeminence in the world cotton market, the pace of westward expansion, and the importance of indigenous technological innovation.

Date: 2008
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (27)

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/ ... type/journal_article link to article abstract page (text/html)

Related works:
Working Paper: Biological Innovation and Productivity Growth in the Antebellum Cotton Economy (2008) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cup:jechis:v:68:y:2008:i:04:p:1123-1171_00

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in The Journal of Economic History from Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Kirk Stebbing ().

 
Page updated 2024-03-31
Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:68:y:2008:i:04:p:1123-1171_00