NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Guillermo Marshall

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
214 David Kinley Hall
1407 W Gregory St
Urbana, IL 61801

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2016Start-up Nation? Slave Wealth and Entrepreneurship in Civil War Maryland
with Felipe González, Suresh Naidu: w22483
Slave property rights yielded a source of collateral as well as a coerced labor force. Using data from Dun and Bradstreet linked to the 1860 census and slave schedules in Maryland, we find that slaveowners were more likely to start businesses prior to the uncompensated 1864 emancipation, even conditional on total wealth and human capital, and this advantage disappears after emancipation. We assess a number of potential explanations, and find suggestive evidence that this is due to the superiority of slave wealth as a source of collateral for credit rather than any advantage in production. The collateral dimension of slave property magnifies its importance to historical American economic development.

Published: Felipe González & Guillermo Marshall & Suresh Naidu, 2017. "Start-up Nation? Slave Wealth and Entrepreneurship in Civil War Maryland," The Journal of Economic History, vol 77(02), pages 373-405. citation courtesy of

 
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