The other day on twitter,
Seth Rockman and I were discussing current work on slavery by economic
historians. He thought that there was “more energy being spent policing
"driving force" claims than in generating new findings about
how/where slavery mattered to broader economic transformations.” I told him
that refuting claims like those made by Ed Baptist really doesn’t take that
much effort, and I suggested a list of people that he might want to look at to
see where the energy of economic historians was actually going. This is a much
fuller list than I provided in the tweet, and it provides citations and links (wherever
possible to ungated versions). There are a couple of papers that go back about
ten years, but I think most of the published papers are within the last five
years. Some are still working papers.
As the title of the
post suggests the list includes both papers that are directly about slavery and
papers that are about the political and economic legacy of slavery. Most are
specifically about the U.S. since that is the area I know best, and I tried to
stay focused on economic history, i.e. research that is about understanding the
past. There is also a large literature that focuses on tracing current
conditions to the existence of slavery in the past, see e.g. Nathan Nunn;
Yeonha Jung "How
the Legacy of Slavery Survives: Labor Market Institutions and Demand for Human
Capital." (2018); or Graziella Bertocchi and Arcangelo Dimico. "Slavery,
education, and inequality." European Economic Review
70 (2014): 197-209.
In addition, if you are
interested in recent work on the Atlantic slave trade you might start with Warren Whatley
and Rob Gillezeau
, or work in progress by Ellora
Derenoncourt “Atlantic Slavery’s Impact on European and British Economic
Development.” Finally, there are other interesting working papers that I know of,
but I try to honor the wishes of authors when they request that preliminary
work not be cited or circulated. You will have to find those papers yourself.
Bodenhorn, Howard. The color factor: The economics
of African-American well-being in the nineteenth-century South
. Oxford University
Press, USA, 2015.
Cook, Lisa D., Trevon
D. Logan, and John M. Parman. "Racial segregation and southern
lynching." Social Science History
42, no. 4 (2018): 635-675. Summary
Craig, Lee A., and
Robert G. Hammond. "Nutrition and signaling in slave markets: a new look
at a puzzle within the antebellum puzzle." Cliometrica 7,
no. 2 (2013): 189-206.
Miller, Melinda C.
"Destroyed by slavery? Slavery and African American family formation
following emancipation." Demography
55, no. 5
and Jessica Hayes. "The occupations of slaves sold in New Orleans: Missing
values, cheap talk, or informative advertising?." Cliometrica 10,
no. 2 (2016): 181-195.
Steckel, Richard H.,
and Nicolas Ziebarth. "Trader Selectivity and Measured Catch-Up Growth of
American Slaves." The Journal of Economic History
76, no. 1 (2016): 109-138.