IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ehbiol/v8y2010i2p261-272.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The economics of race and eugenic sterilization in North Carolina: 1958-1968

Author

Listed:
  • Price, Gregory N.
  • Darity Jr., William A.

Abstract

Theoretical justifications for state-sanctioned sterilization of individuals provided by Irving Fisher rationalized its racialization on grounds that certain non-white racial groups, particularly blacks due to their dysgenic biological and behavioral traits, retarded economic growth and should be bred out of existence. Fisher's rationale suggests that national or state level eugenic policies that sterilized the so-called biological and genetically unfit could have been racist in both design and effect by disproportionately targeting black Americans. We empirically explore this with data on eugenic sterilizations in the State of North Carolina between 1958 and 1968. Count data parameter estimates from a cross-county population allocation model of sterilization reveal that the probability of non-institutional and total sterilizations increased with a county's black population share--an effect not found for any other racial group in the population. Our results suggest that in North Carolina, eugenic sterilization policies were racially biased and genocidal.

Suggested Citation

  • Price, Gregory N. & Darity Jr., William A., 2010. "The economics of race and eugenic sterilization in North Carolina: 1958-1968," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 261-272, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:2:p:261-272
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570-677X(10)00020-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. William Darity, 2005. "Stratification economics: The role of intergroup inequality," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 29(2), pages 144-153, June.
    2. Linda Loubert, 2005. "Discrimination in education financing," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 17-27, March.
    3. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Dominique Peeters, 2007. "Early Literacy Achievements, Population Density, and the Transition to Modern Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 183-226, March.
    4. Gregory Price, 2008. "Hurricane Katrina: Was There a Political Economy of Death?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 163-180, December.
    5. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    6. Thaler, Richard H, 1997. "Irving Fisher: Modern Behavioral Economist," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 439-441, May.
    7. Wickens, Michael R, 1972. "A Note on the Use of Proxy Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(4), pages 759-761, July.
    8. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
    9. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    10. Ricardo, David, 1821. "On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 3, number ricardo1821.
    11. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," Introductory Chapters, in: A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World, Princeton University Press.
    12. Thomas C. Leonard, 2005. "Retrospectives: Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 207-224, Fall.
    13. Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
    14. McFadden, Daniel, 1974. "The measurement of urban travel demand," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 303-328, November.
    15. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 187-278.
    16. Price, Gregory N. & Darity Jr., William A. & Headen Jr., Alvin E., 2008. "Does the stigma of slavery explain the maltreatment of blacks by whites: The case of lynchings," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 167-193, February.
    17. Arline T. Geronimus & Sanders Korenman, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-1214.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Elu Juliet U. & Price Gregory N., 2012. "Remittances and the Financing of Terrorism In Sub-Saharan Africa: 1974 - 2006," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-42, July.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Cummins, Neil, 2020. "The micro-evidence for the Malthusian system. France, 1670–1840," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    2. Jakob B. Madsen & Fabrice Murtin, 2017. "British economic growth since 1270: the role of education," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 229-272, September.
    3. Klaus Desmet & Avner Greif & Stephen L. Parente, 2020. "Spatial competition, innovation and institutions: the Industrial Revolution and the Great Divergence," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 1-35, March.
    4. Nicholas Crafts, 2010. "Cliometrics and technological change: a survey," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 1127-1147.
    5. Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "The Three Horsemen of Riches: Plague, War, and Urbanization in Early Modern Europe," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 774-811.
    6. Kawalec Paweł, 2020. "The dynamics of theories of economic growth: An impact of Unified Growth Theory," Economics and Business Review, Sciendo, vol. 6(2), pages 19-44, June.
    7. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil, 2016. "The Child Quality-Quantity Tradeoff, England, 1780-1880: A Fundamental Component of the Economic Theory of Growth is Missing," CEPR Discussion Papers 11232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Sascha Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "The trade-off between fertility and education: evidence from before the demographic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 177-204, September.
    9. Masako Kimura & Daishin Yasui, 2012. "Public Policy and the Income-Fertility Relationship in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 1224, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    10. Timothy W. Guinnane, 2011. "The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 589-614, September.
    11. Galor, Oded & Klemp, Marc, 2014. "The Biocultural Origins of Human Capital Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 8433, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Cinnirella, Francesco & Klemp, Marc P B & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2012. "Malthus in the Bedroom: Birth Spacing as a Preventive Check Mechanism in Pre-Modern England," CEPR Discussion Papers 9116, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Galor, Oded, 2007. "Multiple growth regimes - Insights from unified growth theory," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 470-475, September.
    14. Broadberry Stephen, 2012. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Very Long Run Growth: A Historical Appraisal," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 53(1), pages 277-306, May.
    15. Gregory Price, 2008. "Hurricane Katrina: Was There a Political Economy of Death?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 163-180, December.
    16. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2015. "The physiological foundations of the wealth of nations," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 37-73, March.
    17. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke & Joel Mokyr, 2018. "Clans, Guilds, and Markets: Apprenticeship Institutions and Growth in the Preindustrial Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(1), pages 1-70.
    18. Emmanuel Bovari & Victor Court, 2019. "Energy, knowledge, and demo-economic development in the long run: a unified growth model," Working Papers hal-01698755, HAL.
    19. James B. Ang & Per G. Fredriksson, 2017. "Statehood Experience, Legal Traditions, And Climate Change Policies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(3), pages 1511-1537, July.
    20. Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins, 2010. "Malthus to Modernity: England?s First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800," Working Papers 69, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:2:p:261-272. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.