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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The southern economy grew in spite of slavery; between 1840 and 1860 southern incomes grew more rapidly than northern incomes. After the Civil War and Reconstruction, southern income growth exceeded income growth in the rest of the country by about 0.3 percent between 1880 and 1940. Regional incomes converged after World War II. Income growth notwithstanding, the southern population grew more slowly and southerners accumulated less nonslave wealth than their northern counterparts in the antebellum era. Slavery worked to the detriment of the southern economy by reducing urbanization and industrialization, by restricting productive investments in education and entrepreneurial capital, by encouraging rent-seeking and corruption, by separating the South from the international labor market, and by actively obstructing the development of well-functioning markets.

Keywords: southern economy, southern incomes, population growth, urbanization, industrialization, international labor market

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