One Kind of Freedom: Reconsidered (and Turbo Charged)

Roger L. Ransom, Richard Sutch

NBER Historical Working Paper No. 129
Issued in September 2000
NBER Program(s):   DAE

Since One Kind of Freedom was published in 1977 there have been enormous advances in computer technology and statistical software, and an impressive expansion of micro-level historical data sets. In this essay we reconsider' our earlier findings on the consequences of emancipation in terms of what might be accomplished using the new technology, methods, and data. We employ the entire sample of 11,202 farms collected for the Southern Economic History Project not the sub-sample used to prepare 1KF. We revisit the question of declining production of foodstuffs, examining the data this time on a farm-by-farm basis. We conclude that 30 percent of farms in the cotton regions were locked-in' to cotton production and another 16 percent were producing too much food in an effort to avoid the trap of debt peonage. Using probit methods to control for the effects of age, farm size, literacy, family workers, and willingness to assume risk, we find that race accounts for two-thirds of the gap between black and white ownership of farms. Comparing sharecropping and renting, we find that race was much less of a factor in tenure choice. We note that these efforts only scratch the surface of what remains to be done.

download in pdf format
   (614 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/h0129

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Ransom and Sutch h0003 The Trend in the Rate of Labor Force Participation of Older Men, 1870-1930: A Review of the Evidence
Donaldson and Hornbeck w19213 Railroads and American Economic Growth: A "Market Access" Approach
Donohue and Heckman w3894 Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks
Piketty and Saez w8467 Income Inequality in the United States, 1913-1998 (series updated to 2000 available)
Cockburn and Henderson w6018 Public-Private Interaction and the Productivity of Pharmaceutical Research
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us