The Organization of Hacienda Labor during the Mexican Revolution: Evidence from Yucatán
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Mattiace 2014 MexicanStudies.pdf
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SubjectMexican economic history; Mexican Revolution; labor mobility; henequen; Maya; peasants; debt; Salvador Alvarado; haciendas; Yucatán
Beginning in 1914, Yucatecan revolutionary governors promulgated a series of decrees that liberated and regulated labor on henequen haciendas. The first of these decrees banned debt peonage, immediately weakening the pre-revolutionary labor regime, which was based on a mixture of paternalism and coercion. Using census and hacienda data, we show how hacendados and workers adapted to institutional changes and market shocks, allowing output and investment to increase after the Revolution. While there was considerable continuity in the methods of contracting before and after the Revolution, market participants exhibited agility in shifting among multiple contractual forms.