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Race v. Suffrage: The Determinants of Development in Mississippi


  • Bertocchi, Graziella

    () (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

  • Dimico, Arcangelo

    () (Queen's University Belfast)


We investigate the long term determinants of political and economic outcomes over a new data set composed of Mississippi counties. We analyze the effect of disfranchisement on voting registration at the end of the nineteenth century (1896-9), as well as the impact of voting registration on education outcomes at different points in time, namely in 1917 and in the 1950s. Finally, we turn to the determinants of a broad array of development indicators for the year 1960 and for the 1960-2000 period. Our main conclusion is that race, rather than political institutions and education policies, is the main force driving the above outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2011. "Race v. Suffrage: The Determinants of Development in Mississippi," IZA Discussion Papers 6017, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6017

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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 725-728, November.
    3. Orazem, Peter F, 1987. "Black-White Differences in Schooling Investment and Human Capital Production in Segregated Schools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 714-723, September.
    4. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200.
    5. Bertocchi, Graziella & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2014. "Slavery, education, and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 197-209.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    7. 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.
    8. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
    9. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Land and Power: Theory and Evidence from Chile," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1737-1765, December.
    10. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 2001. "The Politics of Co-optation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 591-607, December.
    11. 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.
    12. 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, January.
    13. Ades, A. & Verdier, T., 1996. "The Rise and Fall of Elites: A Theory of Economic Development and Social Polarization in Rent-Seeking Societies," DELTA Working Papers 96-13, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    14. 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.
    15. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Graziella Bertocchi & Arcangelo Dimico, 2017. "De jure and de facto determinants of power: evidence from Mississippi," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 321-345, December.
    2. 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.

    More about this item


    race; institutions; development; inequality; education;

    JEL classification:

    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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