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Valuing the Vote: The Redistribution of Voting Rights and State Funds Following the Voting Rights Act of 1965

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  • Elizabeth U. Cascio
  • Ebonya L. Washington

Abstract

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) has been called one of the most effective pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history, having generated dramatic increases in black voter registration across the South. We show that the expansion of black voting rights in some southern states brought about by one requirement of the VRA – the elimination of literacy tests at voter registration – was accompanied by a shift in the distribution of state aid toward localities with higher proportions of black residents, a finding that is consistent with models of distributive politics. Our estimates imply an elasticity of state transfers to counties with respect to turnout in presidential elections – the closest available measure of enfranchisement – of roughly one.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17776.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Publication status: published as “Valuing the Vote: The Redistribution of Voting Rights and State Funds Following the Voting Rights Act of 1965” (with Ebonya Washington), The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 129(1), 379-433, February 2014.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17776

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  1. Orley Ashenfelter & William J. Collins & Albert Yoon, 2005. "Evaluating the Role of Brown vs. Board of Education in School Equalization, Desegregation, and the Income of African Americans," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics 0515, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  2. Cascio, Elizabeth & Gordon, Nora & Lewis, Ethan & Reber, Sarah, 2008. "From Brown to busing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 296-325, September.
  3. Elizabeth Cascio & Nora Gordon & Ethan Lewis & Sarah Reber, 2009. "Paying for Progress: Conditional Grants and the Desegregation of Southern Schools," NBER Working Papers 14869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sarah J. Reber, 2011. "From Separate and Unequal to Integrated and Equal? School Desegregation and School Finance in Louisiana," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 404-415, May.
  5. Tim Besley, 2002. "Political institutions and policy choices: evidence from the United States," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W02/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Filer, J.E. & Kenny, L.W. & Morton, R.B., 1989. "Voting Laws, Educational Policies And Minority Turnout," Papers, Florida - College of Business Administration 89-7, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  7. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  8. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Nora E. Gordon & Sarah J. Reber, 2011. "Federal Aid and Equality of Educational Opportunity: Evidence from the Introduction of Title I in the South," NBER Working Papers 17155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John J. Donohue & James J. Heckman & Petra E. Todd, 2002. "The Schooling Of Southern Blacks: The Roles Of Legal Activism And Private Philanthropy, 1910-1960," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 225-268, February.
  10. Francesco Trebbi & Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina, 2008. "Electoral Rules and Minority Representation in U.S. Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 325-357, 02.
  11. Robert A. Margo, 1990. "Race and Schooling in the South, 1880-1950: An Economic History," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number marg90-1.
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Cited by:
  1. Graziella Bertocchi & Arcangelo Dimico, 2012. "De Jure and de Facto Determinants of Power:Evidence from Mississippi," Center for Economic Research (RECent), University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics 084, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
  2. Allison Shertzer, 2013. "Immigrant Group Size and Political Mobilization: Evidence from European Migration to the United States," NBER Working Papers 18827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. repec:mod:depeco:0001 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Daniel B. Jones & Werner Troesken & Randall Walsh, 2012. "A Poll Tax by any Other Name: The Political Economy of Disenfranchisement," NBER Working Papers 18612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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