On Why We Have Financial Crises:

"No one was responsible for the great Wall Street Crash. No one engineered the speculation that preceded it. Both were the product of the free choice and decision of hundreds of thousands of individuals. The latter were not led to the slaughter. They were impelled to do it by the seminal lunacy which has always seized people who are seized in turn with the notion they can become very rich."

John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash

On Why People Start Wars:

"Mortals made these decisions. They made them in fear and in trembling, but they made them nonetheless. In most cases, the decision-makers were not evil people bent on destruction but were frightened and entrapped by self-delusion. They based their policies on fears, not facts, and were singularly devoid of empathy. Misperception, rather than conscious evil design, appears to have been the leading villain in the drama."

John Stoessinger, Why People Start Wars

Selected Publications

On Transportation and Economic Development:
"Canals and Economic Development: A Discussion of the Issues." American Economic Review 54 (May 1964): 365-376.

"Social Returns from Public Transport Investment: A Case Study of the Ohio Canal." Journal of Political Economy 78 (September/October 1970): 1041-1060.

"Interregional Canals and Economic Specialization in the Antebellum United States." Explorations in Entrepreneurial History 5 (Fall 1967), pp. 12-35.

"A Closer Look at Canals and Western Manufacturing." Explorations in Economic History 8 (July 1971), pp. 501-508.

"Public Canal Investment and the Opening of the Old Northwest." in David C. Klingaman and Richard K. Vedder, eds., Essays in Nineteenth-Century Economic History: The Old Northwest (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1975), pp. 246-268.

On Slavery and Southern Economic History:
"Debt Peonage in the Cotton South After the Civil War," with Richard Sutch. Journal of Economic History 32 (September 1972): 641 669.

"The Ex-Slave in the Post-bellum South: A Study of the Economic Impact of Racism in a Market Environment," With Richard Sutch. Journal of Economic History 33 (March 1973), pp. 131-148.

"The Impact of the Civil War and of Emancipation on Southern Agriculture," with Richard Sutch. Explorations in Economic History 12 (January 1975): 1 28.

"The 'Lock in' Mechanism and Overproduction of Cotton in the Post Bellum South," with Richard Sutch. Agricultural History 49 (April 1975): 405 425.

"Sharecropping: Market Response or Mechanism of Race Control?", With Richard Sutch. Chapter 3 in David G. Sansing, ed., What Was Freedom's Price? (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1978), pp. 51-69.

"Growth and Welfare in the American South of the Nineteenth Century," with Richard Sutch. Explorations in Economic History 16 (April 1979): 207 236.

"Credit Merchandising in the Post-Emancipation South: Structure, Conduct, and Performance," Explorations in Economic History 16 (January 1979), pp. 64-89.

"Capitalists Without Capital: The Burden of Slavery and the Impact of Emancipation," with Richard Sutch. Agricultural History (Fall 1988): 133-160.

"Who Pays for Emancipation?: The Burden of Slavery Revisited," With Richard Sutch. In Richard F. America, Editor. Race, Restitution, and Redistribution: The Present Value and Distribution of the Benefits of Slavery and Discrimination. Greenwood Press, 1990: 31-54

"One Kind of Freedom: Reconsidered (and Turbo Charged)," with Richard Sutch. Explorations in Economic History 38 (January 2001): 6-40.

On The American Civil War:

"Fact and Counterfact: The 'Second American Revolution' Revisited," Civil War History, Vol. 45 (March 1999), pp. 28-60.

"The Economics of the Civil War," EH.Net Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Whaples, August 2001. URL:

"Conflicting Visions: The American Civil War as a Revolutionary Event," With Richard Sutch. Research in Economic History 30 (2001): 249-301.

"The Economic Consequences of the American Civil War." Chapter 3 in Murray Wolfson, editor. The Political Economy of War and Peace. (New York: Kluwer Academic Press, 1998): 47-74. "Fact and Counterfact: The 'Second American Revolution' Revisited." Civil War History 45 (March 1999): 28-60.

"War and Cliometrics: Adventures in Counterfactual History." Journal of Economic History 66 (June 2006): 271-282. Presidential Address to the Economic History Association, September 2005.

"The Confederate States of America," in Susan B. Carter, Scott S. Gartner, Michael Haines, Alan L. Olmstead, Richard Sutch, and Gavin Wright, eds., Historical Statistics of the United States, Millennial Edition (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004): 5-773 – 5-805

"Reconstructing Reconstruction: Options and Limitations to Federal Policies on Land Distribution in 1866-67," 52 Civil War History (March 2006).

"The Civil War in American Economic History" With Louis Cain, Paul Rhode and Price Fishback, editors., Oxford Handbook of American Economic History. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1918).

On The World Wars:

"Confidence, Fear and a Propensity to Gamble: The Puzzle of War and Economics in an Age of Catastrophe, 1914-45" Social Science History 40 (Winter 2016): 599-625.

On The Life Cycle Transition, Savings, and the Labor Force:
"The Labor of Older Americans: Retirement of Men On and Off the Job, 1870 1937," with Richard Sutch. Journal of Economic History 46 (March 1986): 1 30.

"The Tontine Revolution and the Armstrong Investigation: A Case of Stifled Innovation in the American Insurance Industry, 1868-1905." Journal of Economic History (June 1987), pp. 379-390.

"The Decline of Retirement in the Years Before Social Security: U.S. Retirement Patterns, 1870-1940," with Richard Sutch. In Edward Lazear and Rita Ricardo-Campbell, eds., Issues in Contemporary Retirement (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1988), pp. 3-37.

"The Life-Cycle Transition: A Preliminary Report on Wealth-Holding in America," with Richard Sutch. Chapter 10 in Income and Wealth Distribution in Historical Perspective, two volumes, (Utrecht: Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht, 1986: volume 1), pp. 10-67.

"The Historical Labor Statistics Project at the University of California," with Susan Carter and Richard Sutch. Historical Methods (April 1991), pp. 52-65.

"Retirement: Past and Present," with Richard Sutch and Samuel H. Williamson. Chapter 1 in Alicia H. Munnell, editor. Retirement and Public Policy: Proceedings of the Second Conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance. (Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing, 1991): 23-57.

"The Impact of Aging on the Employment of Men in Working-Class Communities at the End of the Nineteenth Century: A Cross-Section Analysis of Surveys from Maine, New Jersey, California, Michigan, and Kansas," With Richard Sutch. Chapter 11 in David Kertzer and Peter Laslett, eds., Aging in the Past: Demography, Society, and Old Age (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), pp. 303-327.

"Inventing Pensions: The Origins of the Company-Provided Pension in the United States, 1900-1940," With Richard Sutch and Samuel Williamson. In K. Warner Shaie and Andrew W. Achenbaum. Societal Impact on Aging: Historical Perspectives. Springer Publishing Company, 1993: 1-38.

"Family Matters: The Life-Cycle Transition and the Antebellum American Fertility Decline," with Susan Carter and Richard Sutch. In Timothy Guinnane, William Sundstrum and Warren Whatley, History Matters: Essays on Economic Growth, Technology, and Demographic Change. (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2004): 271-327.

Notes and Essays On Other Things

"British Policy and Colonial Growth: Some Implications of the Burden from the Navigation Acts." The Journal of Economic History 28 (September 1968), pp. 427-435.

"Was It Really All That Great to be a Slave? A Review Essay." Agricultural History 48 (October 1974), pp. 578-585.

In Search of Security: The Growth of Government Spending in the United States, 1902-1970," Chapter 6 in Roger L. Ransom, Richard Sutch and Gary M. Walton, eds., Explorations in the New Economic History: Essays in Honor of Douglass C. North (New York: Academic Press, 1982), pp. 125-148.

"Class and Inequality: Measuring the Impact of Industrial Capitalism in North America." Historical Methods 16 (Fall 1983), pp. 157-161.

"Land and Credit: Some Historical Parallels Between Mexico and the American South," with Kerry Ann Odell. Agricultural History 60 (Winter 1986): 4-31.

"What Economic History Means – Then and Now," in Pat Hudson, ed., Living Economic and Social History: Historians Explain Their Interest in, and the Nature of, Their Subject (Glasgow: Economic History Society, 2001), pp. 293-297.