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Slavery, education, and inequality

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  • Bertocchi, Graziella
  • Dimico, Arcangelo

Abstract

We investigate the effect of slavery on the current level of income inequality across US counties. We find that a larger proportion of slaves over population in 1860 persistently increases inequality, and in particular inequality across races. We also show that a crucial channel of transmission from slavery to racial inequality is human capital accumulation, i.e., current inequality is primarily influenced by slavery through the unequal educational attainment of blacks and whites. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that the underlying links run through the political exclusion of former slaves and the resulting negative influence on the local provision of education.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2014. "Slavery, education, and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 197-209.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:70:y:2014:i:c:p:197-209 DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2014.04.007
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Graziella Bertocchi, 2015. "Slavery, racial inequality, and education," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 122-122, February.
    2. Graziella Bertocchi, 2011. "Growth, Colonization, and Institutional Development. In and Out of Africa," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 064, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    3. Graziella Bertocchi, 2016. "The legacies of slavery in and out of Africa," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, December.
    4. Álvarez, Jorge & Bilancini, Ennio & D'Alessandro, Simone & Porcile, Gabriel, 2011. "Agricultural institutions, industrialization and growth: The case of New Zealand and Uruguay in 1870-1940," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 151-168, April.
    5. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Francesco Cinnirella & Oded Galor & Boris Gershman & Erik Hornung, 2017. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and the Emergence of Labor Emancipation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6423, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Graziella Bertocchi & Arcangelo Dimico, 2017. "De jure and de facto determinants of power: evidence from Mississippi," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, pages 321-345.
    7. Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2011. "The Evolution of the Racial Gap in Education and the Legacy of Slavery," IZA Discussion Papers 6192, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. 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.
    9. Esposito, Elena, 2015. "Side Effects of Immunities: the African Slave Trade," Economics Working Papers MWP2015/09, European University Institute.
    10. repec:nbr:nberch:14011 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Philipp Ager, 2013. "The Persistence of de Facto Power: Elites and Economic Development in the US South, 1840-1960," Working Papers 0038, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    12. Graziella Bertocchi & Arcangelo Dimico, 2011. "Race v. Suffrage. The Determinants of Development in Mississippi," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 071, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    13. Graziella Bertocchi, 2016. "The Legacies of Slavery in and out of Africa," Department of Economics 0096, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    14. Andrei Markevich & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2017. "The Economic Effects of the Abolition of Serfdom: Evidence from the Russian Empire," Working Papers w0237, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    15. repec:mod:depeco:0001 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Slavery; Inequality; Education; Institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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