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A measure of history Cherokee agricultural productivity in comparative perspective, 1835-1850 /

by 1972- Gregg, Matthew T.

Abstract (Summary)
In the first essay, the technical efficiency and total elasticity of production of Cherokee farm households are estimated from information contained in the 1835 Cherokee census. It is determined that the most productive Cherokee farms can be best isolated by grouping households in terms of whether they sold their excess crops rather than in terms of racial or cultural differences across households. On the free Cherokee farms, after controlling for location and farm size, there was no significant relationship between various household racial compositions and the probability of selling crops to the market; therefore, the racial mix of a household, holding other factors constant, was not a determinant of the most productive Cherokee free farms. In the second essay, differences in Cherokee agricultural productivity prior to removal are compared to those of white farmers who later cultivated the same land. This analysis hinges on a matched sample collected from the manuscripts of the 1850 population, slave, and agricultural federal censuses. This comparative analysis shows that the marginal contribution of adult males and females to farm output did not differ between these two societies. This change in traditional gender roles on Cherokee farms is consistent with the increase in the relative price of hunting, the high amount of weavers and spinsters in the 1835 Cherokee census, and the few work alternatives for Cherokee males other than farming. For example, on the few Cherokee households that operated mills and ferryboats, the marginal contribution of women to farm output was substantial. In the last essay, the level of marketable surpluses on Cherokee and white farms located in western North Carolina in 1850 is estimated. White farms produced a far greater amount of marketable surpluses than did Cherokee farms. To ensure being above subsistence, these Cherokees adopted labor gangs, called the gadugi, which redistributed output on a need basis. Assuming identical risk preferences and shirking levels, it is shown that Cherokee households would have adopted the gadugi under a large number of scenarios, while white farmers simultaneously would have avoided teams because the relative price of being above subsistence substantially differed on Cherokee and white farms. Index words: Native American Economic History, Productivity Analysis, Sampling. A Measure of History: Cherokee Agricultural Productivity in Comparative Perspective, 1835-1850 by Matthew T. Gregg B.A., Roanoke College, 1994 A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of The University of Georgia in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy Athens, Georgia 2003 c? 2003 Matthew T. Gregg All Rights Reserved A Measure of History: Cherokee Agricultural Productivity in Comparative Perspective, 1835-1850 by Matthew T. Gregg Approved: Major Professor: Dr. Fred Bateman Committee: Dr. Scott E. Atkinson Dr. Christopher M. Cornwell Dr. Donald C. Keenan Dr. C.A. Knox Lovell Electronic Version Approved: Maureen Grasso Dean of the Graduate School The University of Georgia August 2003
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School:The University of Georgia

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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