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Costa, D., Kahn, M. (2007). Surviving Andersonville: The Benefits of Social Networks in POW Camps. American Economic Review 97 (4): 1467-1487

Twenty-seven percent of the Union Army prisoners captured July 1863 or later died in captivity. At Andersonville the death rate may have been as high as 40 percent. How did men survive such horrific conditions? Using two independent data sets we find that friends had a statistically significant positive effect on survival probabilities and that the closer the ties between friends as measured by such identifiers as ethnicity, kinship, and the same hometown the  bigger the impact of friends on survival probabilities.

Authors

Costa, Dora

Dora Costa is Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics of the University of California Los Angeles.

Kahn, Matthew

Matthew E. Kahn is a Professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Public Policy. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Before joining the UCLA faculty in January 2007, he taught at Columbia and the...

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