The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Convict Labour

  • Farley Grubb
Reference work entry


Some European countries banished convicts to labour in overseas colonies – sometimes using private markets to transport and employ this labour.


Colonialism Convict labour International migration Labour contracts Migration, international 

JEL Classification

N30 N31 
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  1. Coldham, P. 1992. Emigrants in chains. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Ekirch, A. 1987. Bound for America: The transportation of British convicts to the colonies, 1718–1775. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Grubb, F. 2000. The transatlantic market for British convict labor. Journal of Economic History 60: 94–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Grubb, F. 2001. The market evaluation of criminality: Evidence from the auction of British convict labor in America, 1767–1775. American Economic Review 91: 295–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Nicholas, S. (ed.). 1988. Convict workers: Reinterpreting Australia’s past. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farley Grubb
    • 1
  1. 1.