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The Transatlantic Market for British Convict Labor

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2012

Farley Grubb
Farley Grubb is Professor, Department of Economics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716. E-mail:


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 post-trial criminal justice. A model of this trade is developed that yields testable implications regarding the relative distributional moments of convict auction prices, the size of shipper profits, and how convicts were selected for transportation.

Copyright © The Economic History Association 2000

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