School Desegregation, Academic Attainment, and Earnings
Voluntary and enforced compliance by school districts has reduced the segregation of U.S. public schools. A key question is whether desegregation programs have raised lifetime earnings for blacks, either through the expansion of interracial contact or improvements in school quality. This paper uses information on school demographic composition, district desegregation efforts, school resources, and the academic performance of nonblacks to investigate the impact of school desegregation on academic attainment and earnings. The results provide support for the belief that raising school quality is likely to be much more effective than the reallocation of students among schools as a means to improve academic and labor market outcomes for blacks.
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