The movie Gone with the Wind depicts a genteel, harmonious world torn apart as the old way of life comes to an end. Behind that gentility was the inhumanity of slavery, whose end transformed the economy of the American South. Morally, that was a good thing, but, contrary to the depiction in the movie, was it also positive for the economy? In this episode, we talk to Chicago Booth’s Richard Hornbeck, whose research with Trevon D. Logan of Ohio State suggests that emancipation created huge economic value, a boost to the US economy that was even bigger than the introduction of the railroad.

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