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:
- Prestige expeditions
- Commerce and war
- Staple production
- Small farm settlement
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.
The United States--at least the northern United States--as Adam Smith's Utopia:
Y = F(A, N/L, H/L, K/L)
- Literate and entrepreneurial population
- Good legal infrastructure
- Market exchange
- Abundant land (means high output per worker)
- Free land (means high wages)
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...
Output... How to even claim to measure output?
Nevertheless, we have heroic guesses...
|Year||Y/Pop in 2004$|
Alice Hanson Jones... estates...
Top 20% of households have about 60% of wealth...
Median Wealth Estimates as of 1774:
Note that slaves were fully a third of southern wealth, according to AHJ... Big skew in slave ownership...
|1630||Massachusetts Bay Company|
|1689||"Glorious Revolution" in England|
|1754-1763||French and Indian War|
Posted by DeLong at January 27, 2005 11:27 AM