The Market for Indentured Immigrants: Evidence on the Efficiency of Forward-Labor Contracting in Philadelphia, 1745–1773

  title={The Market for Indentured Immigrants: Evidence on the Efficiency of Forward-Labor Contracting in Philadelphia, 1745–1773},
  author={Farley Grubb},
  journal={The Journal of Economic History},
  pages={855 - 868}
  • F. Grubb
  • Published 1 December 1985
  • Economics
  • The Journal of Economic History
Indentured servitude is modeled as a trans-Atlantic market in forward-labor contracts. The model is applied to servant-auction evidence in Philadelphia, and the determinants of contract prices are used to test the efficient-market hypothesis. While competing for servants in Europe, most of the expected price differences across servants were lost through arbitrage by recruiters. 

Redemptioner Immigration to Pennsylvania: Evidence on Contract Choice and Profitability

  • F. Grubb
  • History
    The Journal of Economic History
  • 1986
The evolution from indentured to redemptioner servitude as a means of financing immigration to late eighteenth-century Pennsylvania is documented. The compensating differences between methods are

Governance of Trade in the Labor Market: Poaching, Courts, and Settlements in Early Twentieth-Century Japan

Protection of claim transfer under the state court is an institutional basis of the modern market economy. In the labor market too, transportation cost or human capital investment could be willingly

The Auction of Redemptioner Servants, Philadelphia, 1771–1804: An Economic Analysis

  • F. Grubb
  • Economics
    The Journal of Economic History
  • 1988
The redemption system transformed the American auction of immigrant servants. The potential for exploiting immigrants was created by search restrictions in the redemption auction. A model of the

Babes in Bondage? Debt Shifting by German Immigrants in Early America

  • F. Grubb
  • History
    Journal of Interdisciplinary History
  • 2006
Data from ship manifests and servant auctions can clarify the extent to which German immigrant families in early America resorted to intra-family debt shifting by selling their children into bondage.

The Statutory Regulation of Colonial Servitude: An Incomplete-Contract Approach☆

Abstract Statutory laws in colonial America required that servants be given a particular set of goods upon contract completion. These laws were innovative and unprecedented. Their purpose has been

Migration and Human Capital: Self-Selection of Indentured Servants to the Americas

When contracting, European merchants could at least partially observe characteristics such as the health, physical strength, and education of indentured servants. These characteristics, unobservable

The Transatlantic Market for British Convict Labor

  • F. Grubb
  • History, Economics
    The Journal of Economic History
  • 2000
Convicts account for at least one-quarter of British migration to mid-eighteenth-century America. Their transportation to and disposal in America was essentially an experiment in privatizing

From the Substance to the Shadow: The Court Embedded into Japanese Labor Markets

Modern contract law generally does not allow property rights or similar claims to be made against employees. This undermines a claim on the return on the employer fs investments in recruiting and

Babes in Bondage Parental Selling of Children to Finance Family Migration: The Case of German Migration to North America, 1720-1820

The existence and extent of intra-family debt shifting via selling children into bondage among German immigrant families to North America is documented using quantitative ship manifest and servant



The Market Evaluation of Human Capital: The Case of Indentured Servitude

This paper examines the market for human capital created by the institution of indentured servitude in colonial America. The indenture system allowed English emigrants to obtain passage to the

Immigrant Servant Labor: Their Occupational and Geographic Distribution in the Late Eighteenth- Century Mid-Atlantic Economy

  • F. Grubb
  • History, Economics
    Social Science History
  • 1985
Contract Labor played a critical role both in financing European trans-Atlantic migration and in providing a hirable labor force to work the estates of the New World. During the seventeenth century

Indentured Servitude: The Philadelphia Market, 1771–1773

In the 1770s Philadelphia had a well developed indentured servant market which served the city and the surrounding region. This market had many attributes of rational labor and physical capital

The Rise and Fall of Indentured Servitude in the Americas: An Economic Analysis

Indentured servitude appeared in Virginia by 1620. Initially a device used to transport European workers to the New World, over time servitude dwindled as black slavery grew in importance in the

Contract Labor, Sugar, and Technology in the Nineteenth Century

  • S. Engerman
  • Economics, History
    The Journal of Economic History
  • 1983
Throughout the world for most of the nineteenth century cane sugar was produced on plantations, most frequently with either slave labor or, after slavery was ended, with contract laborers brought in

Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition

  • S. Rosen
  • Economics
    Journal of Political Economy
  • 1974
A class of differentiated products is completely described by a vector of objectively measured characteristics. Observed product prices and the specific amounts of characteristics associated with

The Organization of the Convict Trade to Maryland: Stevenson, Randolph and Cheston, 1768-1775

T THE shipping of convicts from Great Britain to the American colonies is a significant yet insufficiently examined aspect of eighteenth-century transatlantic trade. Convict transportation, modestly

"Send No More Women:" Female Servants in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia

Female Servants in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia EARLY IN THE SPRING of 1773, Captain William McCulloch guided the ship Friendship from Belfast to Philadelphia. On May 5, two notices appeared in

English Emigration on the Eve of the American Revolution

E NGLISH emigration to the New World in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is but a small segment of an age-old phenomenon, common alike to the ancient world and our own-the movement of people