Random US-Brazil fact of the day

The Confederados were individuals from the U.S. Confederate states who left the American South and resettled in São Paulo, Brazil, immediately after the Civil War. Although the exact number of individuals is difficult to determine, between 2,000 and 4,000 emigrants are estimated to have participated in the movement between 1865 and 1875.

Leading researchers of the topic have identified 154 families that arrived in Brazil during this time, with 37 families being from Alabama. About half the total number eventually returned to the United States, whereas the remainder established themselves in their new homeland and went on to have a significant influence on local society.


You might think, “hey I could use this for an empirical paper on institutions!” Unfortunately for you, right now, somewhere in Cambridge Mass., Acemoglu and Robinson have hired a graduate RA, have come up with a better empirical strategy than yours, and (I predict) the paper will be on Daron’s website in three weeks.

It’s almost enough to make the rest of us give up. Maybe that’s why I left political economy and history for field experiments…

4 thoughts on “Random US-Brazil fact of the day

  1. That reminds me of one of my advisors. When he was a graduate student 10-12 years ago and about to specialize in macro, he was thinking about writing his thesis on directed technological change. Fortunately he realized in time that Acemoglu was in the process of totally clearing the table in that area with the publication of 3 or 4 papers in short succession… He ended up writing some empirical paper on monetary VARs.