Market Power on the Colonial Frontier? Evidence From Sao Paulo 1800-1840
Title: Market Power on the Colonial Frontier? Evidence From Sao Paulo 1800-1840
Publisher: Univ Carlos Iii Madrid
Citation: Revista de Historia Economica, 2009, 27, 1, 17-36
Economists often assume that agricultural markets in history were competitive, and all producers received the same price. in contrast, most agricultural historians deem prices to differ among agents, according to their social status and << power >>. This paper tests these opposite views with a database of some 12,500 transactions for the Sao Paulo area in Brazil in the first decades of the 19(th) century. Prices received by farmers were positively related to total sales, a proxy for the size of the estate, and also to the share on the relevant market, which measures the market power. These results are consistent with the anecdotal evidence about the growing importance of large slave estates which, however, did not wipe out small household farms.
Subject: market power; agricultural prices; early 19(th) century; Brazil
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