Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Economic History Seminar November 13, 2006: William Sundstrom

He comes up from Santa Clara to talk about: >William Sundstrom (2006), "The Geography of Wage Discrimination in the Pre-Civil Rights South" (San Jose: Santa Clara University). >>*Abstract:* Before the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the pay gap between African-American and white workers in the south was large overall and quite variable across locations. Using 1940 census data, I estimate the white-black earnings gap for men across separate county groups called "state economic areas," adjusting for individual differences in schooling and experience. I show that the gap was significantly greater where blacks were a larger proportion of the workforce, plantation institutions were more prevalent, more of the population was urban, and white voters exhibited more segregationist preferences. These results are consistent with descriptive evidence that discrimination in southern labor markets operated through discrimination in job assignments, which prevented black workers from acquiring skills on the job and also depressed wages through a crowding effect.

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