« 20050127: Econ 113: Class Opening Question | Main | Social Security Privatization in Chile »

January 27, 2005

20050127: Economics 113: Lecture Notes--Colonial Economy

Readings: Engerman and Sokoloff; Thomas; Walton and Rockoff


Last time we talked about the six modes of early modern imperialism:

The sixth was, to contemporaries, the least attractive--it was what you did when you couldn't do anything else.

The sixth was also, in the long run, the most productive as far as economic growth is concerned.


Smithian Growth

The United States--at least the northern United States--as Adam Smith's Utopia:

Y = F(A, N/L, H/L, K/L)

Constrast with Engerman and Sokoloff's picture of Latin America: populations to exploit and ways to exploit them create extreme inequality... which has poisonous consequences....

And the economy prospers...


Population

1600 1,000
1640 24,000
1680 150,000
1700 260,000
1730 650,000
1780 2,700,000

Output... How to even claim to measure output?

Nevertheless, we have heroic guesses...

Year Y/Pop in 2004$
1710 $800
1775 $1,100
1840 $1,800
1929 $8,300
2004 $40,000

Accumulation

Alice Hanson Jones... estates...

Top 20% of households have about 60% of wealth...

Median Wealth Estimates as of 1774:

Region Land Slaves Other
New England $2800 -- $1200
Middle States $4800 -- $3200
South $4000 $1600 $2400

Note that slaves were fully a third of southern wealth, according to AHJ... Big skew in slave ownership...


Politics

Year Settlement/Event
1607 Jamestown
1608 Quebec
1620 Plymouth
1624 New Amsterdam
1630 Massachusetts Bay Company
1643 Swedesboro, Pennsylvania
1640-1660 English Revolution
1689 "Glorious Revolution" in England
1754-1763 French and Indian War

Mercantile System...

Posted by DeLong at January 27, 2005 11:27 AM