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Bank deregulation and racial inequality in America

  • Ross Levine
  • Alexey Levkov
  • Yona Rubinstein

We use the cross-state, cross-time variation in bank deregulation across the U.S. states to assess how improvements in banking systems affected the labor market opportunities of black workers. Bank deregulation from the 1970s through the 1990s improved bank efficiency, lowered entry barriers facing nonfinancial firms, and intensified competition for labor throughout the economy. Consistent with Becker’s (1957) seminal theory of racial discrimination, we find that deregulation-induced improvements in the banking system boosted blacks’relative wages by facilitating the entry of new firms and reducing the manifestation of racial prejudices in labor markets.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper with number RPA 12-5.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbqu:rpa12-5
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  16. Welch, Finis, 1975. "Human Capital Theory: Education, Discrimination, and Life Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 63-73, May.
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  18. Jayaratne, Jith & Strahan, Philip E, 1998. "Entry Restrictions, Industry Evolution, and Dynamic Efficiency: Evidence from Commercial Banking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 239-73, April.
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