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War and wealth: economic opportunity before and after the Civil War, 1850-1870

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This study uses two samples of linked adult males to examine wealth accumulation by region and occupation between 1850 and 1870. Consistent with past research, the findings here show that wealth accumulation was substantial in the South in the 1850s and stagnant in the 1860s. The findings also suggest improvement in the wealth position of white-collar professionals and blue-collar workers across the entire period, including the Civil War decade, while farmers suffered in the immediate postbellum period. Finally, the value of slaves in 1860 was positively correlated with wealth in 1870, with implications for the legacy of slavery.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22303/1/WP114.pdf

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