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The Geography of Wage Discrimination in the Pre–Civil Rights South

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  • Sundstrom, William A.

Abstract

Prior to the modern civil rights movement of the 1960s, the pay gap between African-American and white workers in the South was large overall, but also quite variable across location. Using 1940 census data, I estimate the white-black earnings gap of men for separate county groups called state economic areas, adjusting for individual differences in schooling and experience. I show that the gap was significantly greater in areas where, ceteris paribus, blacks were a larger proportion of the workforce, plantation institutions were more prevalent, more of the population was urban, and white voters exhibited segregationist preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Sundstrom, William A., 2007. "The Geography of Wage Discrimination in the Pre–Civil Rights South," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 410-444, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:67:y:2007:i:02:p:410-444_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Bruno Decreuse & Morgane Laouénan & Alain Trannoy, 2016. "Customer Discrimination and Employment Outcomes: Theory and Evidence from the French Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 107-160.
    2. Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2014. "Slavery, education, and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 197-209.
    3. Michael Clemens & Claudio Montenegro & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "The Place Premium: Wage Differences for Identical Workers across the U.S. Border," Working Papers 148, Center for Global Development.
    4. Leah Platt Boustan, 2008. "Competition in the Promised Land: Black Migration and Racial Wage Convergence in the North, 1940-1970," NBER Working Papers 13813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ravi Kanbur & Michael Spence, 2010. "Equity and Growth in a Globalizing World : Commission on Growth and Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2458, June.
    6. Laouénan, Morgane, 2017. "‘Hate at First Sight’: Evidence of consumer discrimination against African-Americans in the US," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 94-109.
    7. Laouénan, Morgane, 2014. "'Can't Get Enough': Prejudice, Contact Jobs and the Racial Wage Gap in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 8006, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Lisa D. Cook & Trevon D. Logan & John M. Parman, 2017. "Racial Segregation and Southern Lynching," NBER Working Papers 23813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Celeste K. Carruthers & Marianne H. Wanamaker, 2017. "Separate and Unequal in the Labor Market: Human Capital and the Jim Crow Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 655-696.

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