Wednesday Seminar Series: Dr. Arthur Silve, Universit ́e Laval

Presentation: Frontier Planters, Immigrants, and the Abolition of Slavery in Brazil

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM

Wednesday Seminar Series: Dr. Arthur Silve, Universit ́e Laval

Abstract: A protracted legislative battle culminated in the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888. We build a new data set of roll-call votes on 1884-1888 emancipation bills in the legislature, and connect it to local features of the districts. This allows us to unpack how the material interests of each of the 122 electoral districts coalesced into an abolitionist coalition. Our results help reconcile previous theories of labor coercion. We find that slavery-intensive districts opposed emancipation. In line with a labor demand effect, we also find more support for emancipation where immigrants provided an alternative source of labor, and in line with an outside option effect, where enslaved persons could more easily escape. A two-pronged instrumental variables strategy that uses variation in (a) history and geography and (b) heteroskedasticity with respect to the regressors supports a causal interpretation of our main results.

The Seminar Series, now over 35 years old, invites scholars from around the world to share their work in a formal lecture, which is followed by a rigorous question and answer session. The Fall 2021 seminars will be hosted by Dr. Noel Johnson and coordinated by Lisa Hill-Corley and Kashiff A. Thompson. All papers made available will be posted on this site for downloading. For more information, call the Center: (703) 993-2316.

In person seminars will be held from 12 - 1:15pm in Carow Hall, which is on George Mason University's Fairfax campus. A light lunch for seminar participants will be available at 11:45 am.

Click here to see a list of our Fall 2021 schedule of speakers.

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