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Slavery: a dual-equilibrium model with some historical examples

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  • Ron Rogowski

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Abstract

What sustains slavery, and why at critical junctures—the fall of the Roman Empire, the early modern expansion of plantation agriculture, the later phases of the industrial revolution, the totalitarian regimes of the 1930s—has it often expanded or contracted so rapidly? Why have elites sometimes been united, but sometimes violently divided, over the choice between free and servile labor? Why has slavery usually been ended by legal prohibition rather than voluntary abandonment? An extremely simple dual-equilibrium picture can illuminate how, when, and with whose support slavery is introduced or abolished. Internal divisions over slavery are likely to be most intense as a society approaches either of these “tipping points.” The most striking example, explored fleetingly here, is the US Civil War. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Ron Rogowski, 2013. "Slavery: a dual-equilibrium model with some historical examples," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 189-209, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:155:y:2013:i:3:p:189-209
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-011-9870-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Grynaviski & Michael Munger, 2014. "Did southerners favor slavery? Inferences from an analysis of prices in New Orleans, 1805–1860," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 341-361, June.
    2. Sonnabend, Hendrik & Stadtmann, Georg, 2018. "Good intentions and unintended evil? Adverse effects of criminalizing clients in paid sex markets with voluntary and involuntary prostitution," Discussion Papers 400, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    3. Sonnabend, Hendrik, 2015. "Good Intentions and Unintended Evil? Clients’ Punishment in the Market for Sex Services with Voluntary and Involuntary Providers," EconStor Preprints 110682, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

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