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Racism as Rent Seeking

  • Roback, Jennifer
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    Rules governing social and economic interactions among ethnic groups are modeled as public goods. The publicness of social rules can explain why race has been so consistently politicized. The potential gains from public provision attract political entrepreneurs into the field. In the absence of some constitutional restraints upon such rent seeking, race is bound to be politicized. In addition, the model can explain the existence of many government policies concerning race that are not apparently motivated by economic gain. Finally, government enforcement of ethnic economic cartels can explain some of the persistent differences in earnings across ethnic groups. Copyright 1989 by Oxford University Press.

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    Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

    Volume (Year): 27 (1989)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 661-81

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:27:y:1989:i:4:p:661-81
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