Slavery, Inequality, and Economic Development in the Americas: An Examination of the Engerman-Sokoloff Hypothesis, Nathan Nunn, October 2007, Book Chapter. "Recent research argues that among former New World colonies a nation's past dependence on slave labor was important for its subsequent economic development (Engerman and Sokoloff, 1997, 2002). It is argued that specialization in plantation agriculture, with its use of slave labor, caused economic inequality, which concentrated power in the hands of a small elite, adversely affecting the development of domestic institutions needed for sustained economic growth..." Link