From Richard Hornbeck and Suresh Naidu:
In the American South, post-bellum economic development may have been restricted in part by white landowners’ access to low-wage black labor. This paper examines the impact of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 on black out-migration and subsequent agricultural development. Flooded counties experienced an immediate and persistent out-migration of black population. Over time, landowners in flooded counties modernized agricultural production and increased its capital intensity rela- tive to landowners in nearby similar non-flooded counties. Landowners resisted black out-migration, however, benefiting from the status quo system of labor-intensive agri- cultural production.