'The curse of the Caribbean'? Agency's impact on the efficiency of sugar estates in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 1814-1829

Feb 2013 | 112

Authors: S.D.Smith, Martin Forster

This study estimates agency's impact on the efficiency of sugar plantations on St. Vincent and the Grenadines during the early 19th century.  Using a panel data set covering the years 1814-1829, a series of stochastic frontier models are estimated to investigate whether estates employing agents were more technically efficient than those managed by the owners themselves.  Multiple imputation methods are used to deal with missing data problems.  There is no evidence, in any of the models estimated, to suggest that estates under agency were less efficient than those that were directed by their owners.  Estimates from a number of models suggest that agent-operated estates were more efficient.

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