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"Heroes" Chapter Five 'Tabula Rasa'(2009)

Chapter four develops state-level measures of the influence of the economic elite on political competition and court independence.? This influence is captured by measures of wealth inequality in 1860 and also by the occupational homogeneity of the elite.? The elite are defined to be adult white men (ages 21 and older) in the top one percent of the wealth distribution in 1860.? Occupational homogeneity is a Herfindahl index of occupational shares, ranging from 0 (complete heterogeneity) to 10,000 (complete homogeneity). The other variable is the percent of total wealth in the state owned by the top one percent.? The authors estimate 2SLS regressions of the Ranney index (average values for different periods after the Civil War) on occupational homogeneity (or the wealth share) using distance to internal water transportation as the instrument.? The effects of occupational homogeneity are negative, somewhat larger than the OLS effects, and statistically significant.? Chapter five presents various regressions of state court characteristics on political competition and legal origins while chapter six does much the same focusing on court expenditures.? Chapter seven wraps up the book by summarizing the results of the previous chapters.? The chapter also contains some OLS regressions of state-level per capita income in 2003.? Evolution is a mixed bag.? On the positive side, Berkowitz and Clay deserve considerable credit for taking up the difficult challenge of applying the ES (Engerman-Sokoloff) and AJR (Acemoglu-Johnson-Robinson) approach to the experience of U.S. states.? Certainly anyone else contemplating something similar will need to study this book very carefully because they will have to grapple with some of the same issues faced by the authors.? The book is timely, well written, and the authors have amassed an interesting body of data.

"Heroes" Chapter Five 'Tabula Rasa'(2009)

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