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Obama, Katrina, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality

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  • Margo, Robert A.

Abstract

New benchmark estimates of Black-White income ratios for 1870, 1900, and 1940 are combined with standard post-World War census data. The resulting time series reveals that the pace of racial income convergence has generally been steady but slow, quickening only during the 1940s and the modern Civil Rights era. I explore the interpretation of the time series with a model of intergenerational transmission of inequality in which racial differences in causal factors that determine income are very large just after the Civil War and which erode slowly across subsequent generations. “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.†—W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

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  • Margo, Robert A., 2016. "Obama, Katrina, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 301-341, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:76:y:2016:i:02:p:301-341_00
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    6. Marianne H Wanamaker, 2017. "150 Years of Economic Progress for African American Men: Measuring Outcomes and Sizing Up Roadblocks," Economic History of Developing Regions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(3), pages 211-220, September.
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    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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