Professor John Hall
Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes
N11, N41, N51
American Civil War, Antebellum South, King Cotton, Primary Commodity Production, Winner’s Curse
This inquiry seeks to establish that the American South’s comparative advantage in primary commodity production can be identified as an explanatory variable in the outbreak of the American Civil War. In addition, this inquiry seeks to illustrate the positive historical correlation between a state’s reliance on primary commodity production and its propensity to generate extreme outcomes—namely, institutional inequality, conflict, and civil war. Furthermore, this inquiry seeks to demonstrate that civil wars can be primarily understood as a function of a rebelling force’s economic motivations and explores the concept of King Cotton, westward expansion, and the South’s ultimate secession from the Union as a function of the winner’s curse.
Pope, Andrew "Commodity Production as an Explanatory Variable in the Outbreak of the American Civil War, Working Paper No. 42", Portland State University Economics Working Papers. 42. (15 December 2019) i + 20 pages.