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The Labor Market Impact of State-Level Anti-Discrimination Laws, 1940-1960

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  • William J. Collins

Abstract

By the time Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 98 percent of non-southern blacks (40 percent of all blacks) were already covered by state-level 'fair employment' laws which prohibited labor market discrimination. This paper assesses the impact of fair employment legislation on black workers' income, unemployment, labor force participation, and occupational and industrial distributions relative to whites using a difference-in-difference-in-difference framework. In general, the fair employment laws adopted in the 1940s appear to have had larger effects than those adopted in the 1950s, and the laws had relatively small effects on the labor market outcomes of black men compared to those of black women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8310.

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Date of creation: May 2001
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8310

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  1. Lundberg, Shelly J & Startz, Richard, 1983. "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 340-47, June.
  2. William M. Landes, 1968. "The Economics of Fair Employment Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 507.
  3. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  4. Malcolm H. Liggett, 1969. "The efficacy of state fair employment practices commissions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 22(4), pages 559-567, July.
  5. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  6. William J. Collins, 2001. "Race, Roosevelt, and Wartime Production: Fair Employment in World War II Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 272-286, March.
  7. Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "Natural and Quasi- Experiments in Economics," NBER Technical Working Papers 0170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," NBER Working Papers 4956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Orley Ashenfelter, 1971. "Racial Discrimination and Trade Unionism," Working Papers 390, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  10. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
  11. John J. Donohue III & James Heckman, 1991. "Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," NBER Working Papers 3894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Glenn C. Loury, 1998. "Discrimination in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Beyond Market Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 117-126, Spring.
  13. Moehling, Carolyn M., 1999. "State Child Labor Laws and the Decline of Child Labor," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-106, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Geddes, R. Richard & Wagner, Benjamin L., 2013. "Why do U.S. states adopt public–private partnership enabling legislation?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 30-41.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Payne, A. Abigail, 2005. "Implementation of Anti-Discrimination Policy: Does Judicial Selection Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5211, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2006. "People People: Social Capital and the Labor-Market Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups," NBER Working Papers 11985, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Leah Platt Boustan & William J. Collins, 2013. "The Origin and Persistence of Black-White Differences in Women's Labor Force Participation," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital in History: The American Record National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bas ter Weel & Lex Borghans & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2013. "People Skills and the Labor-Market Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups," CPB Discussion Paper 253, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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