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Paying for Progress: Conditional Grants and the Desegregation of Southern Schools

Author

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  • Elizabeth Cascio
  • Nora Gordon
  • Ethan Lewis
  • Sarah Reber

Abstract

This paper examines how a large conditional grants program influenced school desegregation in the American South. Exploiting newly collected archival data and quasi-experimental variation in potential per-pupil federal grants, we show that school districts with more at risk in 1966 were more likely to desegregate just enough to receive their funds. Although the program did not raise the exposure of blacks to whites like later court orders, districts with larger grants at risk in 1966 were less likely to be under court order through 1970, suggesting that tying federal funds to nondiscrimination reduced the burden of desegregation on federal courts.

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Cascio & Nora Gordon & Ethan Lewis & Sarah Reber, 2009. "Paying for Progress: Conditional Grants and the Desegregation of Southern Schools," NBER Working Papers 14869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14869
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1975. "The Effect of School Desegregation on Housing Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(4), pages 446-451, November.
    2. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Heckman, James J & Payner, Brook S, 1989. "Determining the Impact of Federal Antidiscrimination Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks: A Study of South Carolina," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 138-177, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Leah Platt Boustan & Fernando Ferreira & Hernan Winkler & Eric Zolt, 2010. "Income Inequality and Local Government in the United States, 1970-2000," NBER Working Papers 16299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Byron F. Lutz, 2011. "School Desegregation, School Choice, and Changes in Residential Location Patterns by Race," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3019-3046, December.
    3. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2014. "Valuing the Vote: The Redistribution of Voting Rights and State Funds following the Voting Rights Act of 1965," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 379-433.
    4. Cynthia (CC) DuBois & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2017. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Guidelines on Teacher Composition and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 24111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Rucker C. Johnson, 2011. "Long-run Impacts of School Desegregation & School Quality on Adult Attainments," NBER Working Papers 16664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Stephen B. Billings & David J. Deming & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2012. "School Segregation, Educational Attainment and Crime: Evidence from the end of busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg," NBER Working Papers 18487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hilary Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Douglas Almond, 2016. "Long-Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 903-934, April.
    8. Sarah J. Reber, 2014. "Comment on "Explaining Trends in High School Graduation: The Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy Landscape and Income Inequality over the Last Half Century"," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital in History: The American Record, pages 89-95 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Robert Bifulco & Leonard M. Lopoo & Sun Jung Oh, 2013. "The Effects of School Desegregation on Teenage Fertility," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 157, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    10. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson & Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore, 2012. "Work incentives and the Food Stamp Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 151-162.
    11. Nora Gordon, 2014. "Explaining Trends in High School Graduation: The Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy Landscape and Income Inequality over the Last Half Century," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital in History: The American Record, pages 59-89 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Byron Lutz, 2011. "The End of Court-Ordered Desegregation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 130-168, May.
    13. Leah Platt Boustan, 2012. "School Desegregation and Urban Change: Evidence from City Boundaries," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 85-108, January.
    14. Ivo Bischoff & Frédéric Blaeschke, 2013. "Incentives and Influence Activities in the Public Sector: the Trade-off in Performance Budgeting and Conditional Grants," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201320, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    15. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Ethan G. Lewis, 2012. "Cracks in the Melting Pot: Immigration, School Choice, and Segregation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 91-117, August.
    16. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Sarah Reber, 2013. "The Poverty Gap in School Spending Following the Introduction of Title I," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 423-427, May.
    17. Hilary W. Hoynes & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2009. "Is a WIC Start a Better Start? Evaluating WIC's Impact on Infant Health Using Program Introduction," NBER Working Papers 15589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Hoynes, Hilary & Page, Marianne & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2011. "Can targeted transfers improve birth outcomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 813-827.
    19. Matsudaira, Jordan D. & Hosek, Adrienne & Walsh, Elias, 2012. "An integrated assessment of the effects of Title I on school behavior, resources, and student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 1-14.
    20. Nora E. Gordon, 2013. "High School Graduation in the Context of Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy and Income Inequality: The Last Half Century," NBER Working Papers 19049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. David A. Weiner & Byron F. Lutz & Jens Ludwig, 2009. "The Effects of School Desegregation on Crime," NBER Working Papers 15380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Bailey, Martha J. & Duquette, Nicolas J., 2014. "How Johnson Fought the War on Poverty: The Economics and Politics of Funding at the Office of Economic Opportunity," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(02), pages 351-388, June.
    23. Hinrichs, Peter, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Racial Segregation in Higher Education," Working Paper 1435, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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