The other day on twitter, Seth Rockman and I were discussing current work on slavery by economic historians. He thought that there was “more energy being spent policing "driving force" claims than in generating new findings about how/where slavery mattered to broader economic transformations.” I told him that refuting claims like those made by Ed Baptist really doesn’t take that much effort, and I suggested a list of people that he might want to look at to see where the energy of economic historians was actually going. This is a much fuller list than I provided in the tweet, and it provides citations and links (wherever possible to ungated versions). There are a couple of papers that go back about ten years, but I think most of the published papers are within the last five years. Some are still working papers.
As the title of the post suggests the list includes both papers that are directly about slavery and papers that are about the political and economic legacy of slavery. Most are specifically about the U.S. since that is the area I know best, and I tried to stay focused on economic history, i.e. research that is about understanding the past. There is also a large literature that focuses on tracing current conditions to the existence of slavery in the past, see e.g. Nathan Nunn; Yeonha Jung "How the Legacy of Slavery Survives: Labor Market Institutions and Demand for Human Capital." (2018); or Graziella Bertocchi and Arcangelo Dimico. "Slavery, education, and inequality." European Economic Review 70 (2014): 197-209.
In addition, if you are interested in recent work on the Atlantic slave trade you might start with Warren Whatley and Rob Gillezeau, or work in progress by Ellora Derenoncourt “Atlantic Slavery’s Impact on European and British Economic Development.” Finally, there are other interesting working papers that I know of, but I try to honor the wishes of authors when they request that preliminary work not be cited or circulated. You will have to find those papers yourself.
Bodenhorn, Howard. The color factor: The economics of African-American well-being in the nineteenth-century South. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015.
Calomiris, Charles W., and Jonathan Pritchett. "Betting on secession: Quantifying political events surrounding slavery and the civil war." American Economic Review 106, no. 1 (2016): 1-23.
Carruthers, Celeste K., and Marianne H. Wanamaker. "Separate and unequal in the labor market: human capital and the jim crow wage gap." Journal of Labor Economics 35, no. 3 (2017): 655-696.
Collins, William J., and Robert A. Margo. "Race and Home Ownership from the End of the Civil War to the Present." American Economic Review 101, no. 3 (2011): 355-59.
Collins, William J., and Marianne H. Wanamaker. Up from slavery? African American intergenerational economic mobility since 1880. No. w23395. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017.
Cook, Lisa D. "Violence and economic activity: evidence from African American patents, 1870–1940." Journal of Economic Growth 19, no. 2 (2014): 221-257.
Cook, Lisa D., Trevon D. Logan, and John M. Parman. "Racial segregation and southern lynching." Social Science History42, no. 4 (2018): 635-675. Summary here.
Craig, Lee A., and Robert G. Hammond. "Nutrition and signaling in slave markets: a new look at a puzzle within the antebellum puzzle." Cliometrica 7, no. 2 (2013): 189-206.
González, Felipe, Guillermo Marshall, and Suresh Naidu. "Start-up nation? slave wealth and entrepreneurship in civil war Maryland." The Journal of Economic History 77, no. 2 (2017): 373-405.
Hornbeck, Richard, and Suresh Naidu. "When the levee breaks: black migration and economic development in the American South." American Economic Review 104, no. 3 (2014): 963-90.
Lander, Kevin, and Jonathan Pritchett. "When to Care: The Economic Rationale of Slavery Health Care Provision." Social Science History 33, no. 2 (2009): 155-182.
Lennon, Conor. "Slave escape, prices, and the fugitive slave act of 1850." The Journal of Law and Economics 59, no. 3 (2016): 669-695.
Logan, Trevon D. Do Black Politicians Matter?. No. w24190. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2018.
Logan, Trevon D. "A Time (Not) Apart: A Lesson in Economic History from Cotton Picking Books." The Review of Black Political Economy 42, no. 4 (2015): 301-322.
Logan, Trevon D., and Jonathan B. Pritchett. "On the marital status of US slaves: Evidence from Touro Infirmary, New Orleans, Louisiana." Explorations in Economic History 69 (2018): 50-63.
Miller, Melinda C. "Land and racial wealth inequality." American Economic Review 101, no. 3 (2011): 371-76.
Miller, Melinda C. "Destroyed by slavery? Slavery and African American family formation following emancipation." Demography 55, no. 5 (2018): 1587-1609.
Naidu, Suresh. Suffrage, schooling, and sorting in the post-bellum US South. No. w18129. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2012.
Olmstead, Alan L., and Paul W. Rhode. "Cotton, slavery, and the new history of capitalism." Explorations in Economic History 67 (2018): 1-17.
Price, Gregory N., William A. Darity Jr, and Alvin E. Headen Jr. "Does the stigma of slavery explain the maltreatment of blacks by whites?: The case of lynchings." The Journal of Socio-Economics 37, no. 1 (2008): 167-193.
Pritchett, Jonathan, and Jessica Hayes. "The occupations of slaves sold in New Orleans: Missing values, cheap talk, or informative advertising?." Cliometrica 10, no. 2 (2016): 181-195.
Sacerdote, Bruce. "Slavery and the intergenerational transmission of human capital." Review of Economics and Statistics 87, no. 2 (2005): 217-234.
Steckel, Richard H., and Nicolas Ziebarth. "A troublesome statistic: Traders and coastal shipments in the westward movement of slaves." The Journal of Economic History 73, no. 3 (2013): 792-809.
Steckel, Richard H., and Nicolas Ziebarth. "Trader Selectivity and Measured Catch-Up Growth of American Slaves." The Journal of Economic History 76, no. 1 (2016): 109-138.
Sutch, Richard C. The Economics of African American Slavery: The Cliometrics Debate. No. w25197. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2018.
Wanamaker, Marianne H. "Fertility and the Price of Children: Evidence from Slavery and Slave Emancipation." The Journal of Economic History 74, no. 4 (2014): 1045-1071.