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Historical Perspectives on Racial Differences in Schooling in the United States

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  • William J. Collins

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Robert A. Margo

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

African-Americans entered the post-Civil War era with extremely low levels of exposure to schooling. Relying primarily on micro-level census data, we describe racial differences in literacy rates, school attendance, years of educational attainment, age-in-grade distributions, spending per pupil, and returns to literacy since emancipation, with emphasis on the pre-1960 period. The overwhelming theme is one of educational convergence, despite overt discrimination for much of the period studied, and subject to several qualifications. We interpret this theme in light of a simple model of educational attainment.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu03-w13.pdf
File Function: First version, 2003
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0313.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0313

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

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Keywords: Brown; education; Plessy;

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  1. Margo, Robert A, 1984. "Accumulation of Property by Southern Blacks before World War I: Comment and Further Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 768-76, September.
  2. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1, July.
  3. Robert A. Margo, 1985. "Education Achievement in Segregated School Systems: The Effects of "Separate-But-Equal"," NBER Working Papers 1620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "The Pursuit of Opportunity: Explaining Selective Black Migration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 391-417, May.
  5. Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-43, December.
  6. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200, February.
  7. Robert A. Margo, 1990. "Segregated Schools and the Mobility Hypothesis: A Model of Local Government Discrimination," NBER Historical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pritchett, Jonathan B., 1989. "The Burden of Negro Schooling: Tax Incidence and Racial Redistribution in Postbellum North Carolina," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 966-973, December.
  9. Smith, James P, 1984. "Race and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 685-98, September.
  10. Margo, Robert A, 1986. "Race and Human Capital: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1221-24, December.
  11. William J.Collins & Robert A. Margo, 2000. "Race and Home Ownership: A Century-Long View," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics 0012, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  12. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  13. Robert A. Margo, 2002. "The North-South Wage Gap, Before and After the Civil War," NBER Working Papers 8778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Smith, James P, 1986. "Race and Human Capital: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1225-29, December.
  15. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 2664307, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Higgs, Robert, 1982. "Accumulation of Property by Southern Blacks before World War I," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 725-37, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Rucker C. Johnson, 2011. "Long-run Impacts of School Desegregation & School Quality on Adult Attainments," NBER Working Papers 16664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2012. "The racial gap in education and the legacy of slavery," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 581-595.
  4. Maloney, William F. & Caicedo, Felipe Valencia, 2014. "Engineers, Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas," IZA Discussion Papers 8271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Graziella Bertocchi & Arcangelo Dimico, 2011. "The Evolution of the Racial Gap in Education and the Legacy of Slavery," Center for Economic Research (RECent), University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics 075, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
  6. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2004. "Forging a New Identity: The Costs and Benefits of Diversity in Civil War Combat Units for Black Slaves and Freemen," NBER Working Papers 11013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Graziella Bertocchi & Arcangelo Dimico, 2010. "Slavery, Education, and Inequality," Department of Economics, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi" 0634, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  8. Suresh Naidu, 2012. "Suffrage, Schooling, and Sorting in the Post-Bellum U.S. South," NBER Working Papers 18129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mason, Patrick, 2007. "Intergenerational mobility and interraical inequality:the return to family values," MPRA Paper 11327, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Derek Neal, 2005. "Why Has Black-White Skill Convergence Stopped?," NBER Working Papers 11090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ilyana Kuziemko, 2011. "Human Capital Spillovers in Families: Do Parents Learn from or Lean on their Children?," NBER Working Papers 17235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lisa Cook, 2014. "Violence and economic activity: evidence from African American patents, 1870–1940," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 221-257, June.

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