Economics Working Papers

Publication Date

9-18-2020

Number

20018

Abstract

We offer new evidence on the regional dynamics of wealth holding in the United States over the Civil War decade based on a hand-linked random sample of wealth holders drawn from the 1860 census. Despite the wealth shock caused by emancipation, we find that patterns of wealth mobility were broadly similar for northern and southern residents in 1860. Looking at the determinants of individual wealth holding in 1870, we find that the elasticity with respect to 1860 wealth was quite low in both regions—consistent with high levels of wealth mobility.

JEL Classification

N31, N41, O43

Version History

Original Release Date: September 18, 2020

Departments

Department of Economics, Iowa State University

File Format

application/pdf

Length

32 pages

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