The Southern Economy

Art Carden

in The Oxford Handbook of Southern Politics

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195381948
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Southern Economy

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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

Article.  13250 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics

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