Professor of Economics Jenny Bourne recently published an article, “Double take: Abolition and the size of transferred property rights” in the Social Science Quarterly. Summary: Abolition is sometimes portrayed as a taking of property rights from former masters. If we consider freedom as the baseline, slavery could instead represent a taking of property rights from slaves. To gauge pecuniary losses to slaves, I estimate foregone wages to former U.S. slaves alive at the time of emancipation (about $200 billion in today’s dollars). Today’s calls for reparations appeal to a sense of justice but encounter legal problems because potential plaintiffs cannot show direct harm from slavery. Former slaves, however, arguably possessed legal standing at the time of emancipation to request reimbursement for past wages. Because our nation failed to compensate newly freed persons for lost wages, they and their descendants have suffered a financial disadvantage for generations.