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Published in: The Journal of Socio-Economics, vol. 38, 2009.


Although there is a large literature on the pre-removal Cherokee acculturation during the early nineteenth century there are no estimates of the technical efficiency of Cherokee agriculture. In this paper two sets of nineteenth century farming data on Cherokee households are used to estimate Shephard output distance functions and to model the determinants of Cherokee technical efficiency. Controlling for farm size, spatial heterogeneity, market orientation, and experience, technical efficiency was between 7% and 9% greater in mixed-blooded households than in full-blooded households. However, using pooled time series data of post-removal Cherokee farm households in North Carolina, Cherokee technical efficiency ranged from 0% to 4% less than the efficiency of their neighboring white farmers.

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