The Economics of African American Slavery: The Cliometrics Debate


NBER Working Paper No. 25197
Issued in October 2018
NBER Program(s):Development of the American Economy

This working paper explores the significant contributions to the history of African-American slavery made by the application of the tools of cliometrics. As used here “cliometrics” is defined as a method of scientific analysis marked by the explicit use of economic theory and quantitative methods. American slavery of the late antebellum period [1840-1860] was one of the earliest topics that cliometricians focused on and, arguably, the topic upon which they made the largest impact.

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