"Soft" slavery in Brazil: was Gilberto Freyre right? This article examines the question of the supposedly benign character of Brazilian slavery in contrast with North America slavery. In economic analyses of slavery, coercion toward slaves is viewed as a means to achieve maximum output, especially in large-scale agriculture. In small slave holdings, however, coercion was generally inefficient for that purpose, and positive incentives tended to be preferred. It is argued that, as recent evidence on Brazil has …
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