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The code in this repository reproduces figures, tables, and empirical estimates for the paper "Land lotteries, long-term wealth, and political selection".

Please cite the paper if you use this code for academic research:

  title={Land lotteries, long-term wealth, and political selection},
  author={Poulos, Jason},
  journal={Public Choice},
  publisher={Springer US}


  • lottery.Rdata contains the datasets used for the analysis
  • codebook.txt describes the lottery.Rdata datasets
  • shell script for analysis.R
  • analysis.R main file; runs descriptive stats, balance tests, and ITT analyses
    • descriptive-stats.R create descriptive figures and tables for Online Appendix (OA)
      • ipums-ga-1850.csv subset of complete--count Census data (1850)
      • counties-1800.csv county--level Census data (1800)
      • counties-1850.csv county--level Census data (1850)
      • counties-1870.csv county--level Census data (1870)
    • county-maps.R create maps of Georgia with 1807 county boundaries
    • utils.R defines functions
    • prepare.R prepare lottery data for analysis
    • balance-tests.R estimates p values for balance plot
    • balance-plot.R creates Figure 1: balance plot with p values
    • qq-plot.R creates QQ plots for (for OA)
    • summary-table.R create Table 1: summary statistics (including pre-treatment variables, political outcomes, and wealth outcomes)
    • officeholding-robust.R robustness tests on officeholder outcome (for OA)
    • slave-wealth-robust.R robustness tests on slave wealth outcome (for OA)
    • candidate-robust.R robustness tests for candidate outcome (for OA)
    • qreg-plot.R quantile regression estimates (for OA)
    • power.R performs power analysis and outputs plot (for OA)


  • Clone a copy of the repository to your working directory with the command
$ git clone
  • The code uses R version 3.2.2 (2015-08-14). To install this R version on Ubuntu, use the command
$ sudo apt-get install r-base-core=3.2.2-1trusty0
  • Open analysis.R in a script editor
    • Verify that all required packages in analysis.Rare installed in your R library
    • Change the file path specified by to your working directory
    • Change patient.descriptive , patient.robust , patient.qreg , or patient.power to TRUE to run descriptive and auxilliary analyses
  • Save your changes to analysis.R
  • Open county-maps.R and verify required packages are installed
  • Make shell file executable from the Linux/Unix command line:
$ chmod +x
  • Execute the file:
$ ./ > analysis.txt
  • The script will output figures as .pdfs and a .RData file analysis.RData.
    • analysis.txt contains the result of the script and LaTeX table output.


Replication code for "Land Lotteries, Long-term Wealth, and Political Selection"




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