Gavin Wright

William Robertson Coe Professor of American Economic History


Stanford University 579 Serra Mall Stanford, CA 94305-6072

Recent Publications and Papers: 

The Century’s Giant: An Obituary for Kenneth Arrow, Challenge 60 (2017).


Quantitative Economic History in the United States, in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2015).


The Role of Nationhood in the Economic Development of the USA, in Alice Teichova and Herbert Matis (eds.), Economic Change and the Nation State in History (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 387-403.


Natural Resources and Economic Growth 
Gold Rush Legacy: American Minerals and the Knowledge Economy (with Karen Clay), in Daniel H. Cole and Elinor Ostrom (eds.), Property in Land and Other Resources (Lincoln Institute, 2012)

Order Without Law: Property Rights During the California Gold Rush, (with Karen Clay),Explorations in Economic History 42 (April 2005), 155-183.

Resource-Based Growth Past and Present, (with Jesse Czelusta), in Daniel Lederman and William F. Maloney (eds.), Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny (World Bank/Stanford University Press, 2007), 183-211.


Labor History 
The Industrious Revolution In America, in Laura Cruz and Joel Mokyr (eds.), The Birth of Modern Europe: Culture and Economy 1400-1800 (2010).

Arbitraging a Discriminatory Labor Market: Black Workers and the Ford Motor Company, 1918-1947, (with Christopher L. Foote and Warren Whatley), Journal of Labor Economics 21 (July 2003), 493-531. 


Technology and Productivity 
Productivity Growth and the American Labor Market: The 1990s in Historical Perspective, in Paul Rhode and Gianni Toniolo (eds.), Understanding the 1990s (Cambridge University Press, 2006), 139-160.

National Leadership and Competing Technological Paradigms: The Globalization of Cotton Spinning, 1878-1933, (with Gary Saxonhouse) Journal of Economic History 70 (September 2010), 535-566.

Historical Foundations of American Technology, presented to Chiba University conference on the New American Economy, December 2007.

World War II, the Cold War, and the  Knowledge Economies of the Pacific Coast, presented at Conference on “World War II and the West It Wrought,” Stanford University, 2017; Revised 2018.


Civil Rights History 
Southern Business and Public Accommodations: An Economic-Historical Paradox, For Presentation at Business History Conference Sacramento, CA April 2008 .

The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution, in Winfred O. Moore, Jr., and Orville Vernon Burton (eds.), Towards the Meeting of the Waters: The Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina (University of South Carolina Press, 2007).

Voting Rights and Economics,  Working Paper, 2016

Slavery and American Agricultural History, Agricultural History 77 (Fall 2003), 527-552. 
Slavery and American Economic Development (Louisiana State University Press, 2006).





Curriculum Vitae

Recent Papers and Publications