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De Jure and de Facto Determinants of Power: Evidence from Mississippi

  • Bertocchi, Graziella
  • Dimico, Arcangelo

We evaluate the empirical relevance of de facto vs. de jure determinants of political power in the U.S. South between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. We apply a variety of estimation techniques to a previously unexploited dataset on voter registration by race covering the counties of Mississippi in 1896, shortly after the introduction of the 1890 voting restrictions encoded in the state constitution. Our results indicate that de jure voting restrictions reduce black registration but that black disfranchisement starts well before 1890 and is more intense where a black majority represents a threat to the de facto power of white elites. Moreover, the effect of race becomes stronger after 1890 suggesting that the de jure barriers may have served the purpose of institutionalizing a de facto condition of disfranchisement.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9064.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9064
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  1. Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2011. "Race v. Suffrage: The Determinants of Development in Mississippi," CEPR Discussion Papers 8589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Suresh Naidu, 2012. "Suffrage, Schooling, and Sorting in the Post-Bellum U.S. South," NBER Working Papers 18129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2014. "Slavery, education, and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 197-209.
  4. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Ebonya L. Washington, 2012. "Valuing the Vote: The Redistribution of Voting Rights and State Funds Following the Voting Rights Act of 1965," NBER Working Papers 17776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson & Daniel M. Sturm, 2010. "Political Competition, Policy and Growth: Theory and Evidence from the United States," CEP Discussion Papers dp1009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Verdier, Thierry, 1996. "The Rise and Fall of Elites: A Theory of Economic Development and Social Polarization in Rent-seeking Societies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1495, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  8. Robert A. Margo, 1990. "Race and Schooling in the South, 1880-1950: An Economic History," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number marg90-1, July.
  9. Fishback, Price V & Baskin, John S, 1991. "Narrowing the Black-White Gap in Child Literacy in 1910: The Roles of School Inputs and Family Inputs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 725-28, November.
  10. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
  11. Orazem, Peter, 1987. "Black-White Differences in Schooling Investment and Human Capital Production in Segregated Schools," Staff General Research Papers 11130, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Pritchett, Jonathan B., 1989. "The Burden of Negro Schooling: Tax Incidence and Racial Redistribution in Postbellum North Carolina," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 966-973, December.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Filer, J.E. & Kenny, L.W. & Morton, R.B., 1989. "Voting Laws, Educational Policies And Minority Turnout," Papers 89-7, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  15. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2004. "Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain's "Age of Reform"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 705-763, May.
  16. Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1997. "Oligarchy, Democracy, Inequality and Growth," DELTA Working Papers 97-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  17. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200, February.
  18. repec:bla:restud:v:76:y:2009:i:1:p:143-179 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Irwin, James R. & O'Brien, Anthony Patrick, 2001. "Economic Progress in the Postbellum South? African-American Incomes in the Mississippi Delta, 1880-1910," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 166-180, January.
  20. 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.
  21. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2006. "Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile," NBER Working Papers 12517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  23. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  24. Welch, Finis, 1973. "Black-White Differences in Returns to Schooling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(5), pages 893-907, December.
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