NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Georgia C. Villaflor

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Working Papers

October 1985The Antebellum "Surge" in Skill Differentials One More Time: New Evidence
with Robert A. Margo: w1758

Published: Margo, Robert and Georgia Villaflor. "The Growth of Wages in Antebellum America: New Evidence," Vol. 47, No. 4, December 1987.

Changes in the skill differential are often used by economic historians to proxy changes in income inequality. According to Jeffrey Williamson and Peter Lindert, American skill differentials rose sharply between 1820 and 1860, which they interpret as increasing income inequality. Using a large, new sample of wage rates drawn from military records, we find no evidence of an aggregate "surge" in antebellum skill differentials. We do find, however, that skill differentials on the frontier rose relative to levels in settled areas. We show how a reduction in the costs of migrating from old to new regions can explain this finding.
July 1979Colonial and Revolutionary Muster Rolls: Some New Evidence on Nutrition and Migration in Early America
with Kenneth L. Sokoloff: w0374

Published: Sololoff, K.L. and G.C. Villaflor, "Migration in Colonial America: Evidence from the Militia Muster Rolls," Social Science History, Vol. 6, (Fall 1982), pp. 539-570.

That investment in human capital has made an important contribution to the increase of labor productivity and per capita income during the last several centuries is widely acknowledged. While much of the research on this issue has focused on education, many scholars have also directed attention to the significance of improvements in nutrition. Until recently, efforts to study this subject have been hampered by a lack of evidence, but it now appears possible to construct indexes of nutrition from height-by-age data. This paper employs a relatively underutilized type of historical document to investigate the level of nutrition in early America. The same material also provides a rich source of information about patterns of migration during this period. This paper finds that native-born Americ...

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