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Was Domar Right? Serfdom and Factor Endowments in Bohemia

Klein, Alexander and Ogilvie, Sheilagh (2017) Was Domar Right? Serfdom and Factor Endowments in Bohemia. Discussion paper. University of Kent (KAR id:70478)

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Do factor endowments explain serfdom? Domar (1970) conjectured that high land-labor ratioscaused serfdom by increasing incentives to coerce labor. But historical evidence is mixed andquantitative analyses are lacking. Using the Acemoglu-Wolitzky (2011) framework andcontrolling for political economy variables by studying a specific serf society, we analyze11,349 Bohemian serf villages in 1757. The net effect of higher land-labor ratios was indeedto increase coercion. The effect greatly increased when animal labor was included, anddiminished as land-labor ratios rose. Controlling for other variables, factor endowmentssignificantly influenced serfdom. Institutions, we conclude, are shaped partly by economicfundamentals.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion paper)
Additional information: KDPE 1717
Uncontrolled keywords: serfdom; land-labor ratio; institutions; labor coercion; rural-urban interaction
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Alexander Klein
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 10:18 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2021 15:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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