Rothbard on the Economics of Slavery

Mark Thornton

“Abstract: Murray Rothbard wrote an unpublished note in the early 1960s on the economics of antebellum slavery. Essentially, it was a criticism of the methodology of the New Economic History, or cliometrics, of which Conrad and Meyer (1958a) was the breakthrough application, on the topic of the profitability of slavery. Rothbard points out that their procedure in no way supports their conclusion that slavery was profitable or their ideological conclusion that the Civil War was necessary to end American slavery.”