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The White/Black Educational Gap, Stalled Progress, and the Long Term Consequences of the Emergence of Crack Cocaine Markets

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  • William N. Evans
  • Craig Garthwaite
  • Timothy J. Moore

Abstract

We propose the rise of crack cocaine markets as an explanation for the end to the convergence in black-white educational outcomes beginning in the mid-1980s. After constructing a measure to date the arrival of crack markets in cities and states, we show large increases in murder and incarceration rates after these dates. Black high school graduation rates also decline, and we estimate that crack markets accounts for between 40 and 73 percent of the fall in black male high school graduation rates. We argue that the primary mechanism is reduced educational investments in response to decreased returns to schooling.

Suggested Citation

  • William N. Evans & Craig Garthwaite & Timothy J. Moore, 2012. "The White/Black Educational Gap, Stalled Progress, and the Long Term Consequences of the Emergence of Crack Cocaine Markets," NBER Working Papers 18437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18437
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Caulkins, J.P. & Schoeff, D., 2001. "Drug prices and emergency department mentions for cocaine and heroin," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 91(9), pages 1446-1448.
    2. Sean Corcoran & William N. Evans, 2010. "Income Inequality, the Median Voter, and the Support for Public Education," NBER Working Papers 16097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The causes of the black-white education gap
      by nawmsayn in ZeeConomics on 2014-11-02 15:18:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Jennifer Hunt, 2017. "The Impact of Immigration on the Educational Attainment of Natives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(4), pages 1060-1118.
    2. Iva Trako & Maria Micaela Sviatschi & Guadalupe Kavanaugh, 2018. "Access to Justice, Gender Violence and Children: Evidence from Women’s Justice Centers in Peru," Working Papers 2018-03, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    3. Bondurant, Samuel R. & Lindo, Jason M. & Swensen, Isaac D., 2018. "Substance abuse treatment centers and local crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 124-133.
    4. Bryan A. Stuart & Evan J. Taylor, 2021. "The Effect of Social Connectedness on Crime: Evidence from the Great Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 18-33, March.
    5. repec:uab:wprdea:wpdea1410 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Flamini, Alessandro & Jahanshahi, Babak & Mohaddes, Kamiar, 2021. "Illegal drugs and public corruption: Crack based evidence from California," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    7. Richard J. Murnane, 2013. "U.S. High School Graduation Rates: Patterns and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 370-422, June.
    8. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2018. "The Incidental Fertility Effects of School Condom Distribution Programs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 37(3), pages 464-492, June.
    9. Maria Micaela Sviatschi, 2018. "Making a Narco: Childhood Exposure to Illegal Labor Markets and Criminal Life Paths," Working Papers sviatschi_making-a-narco_, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    10. Vlaicu, Razvan & Whalley, Alexander, 2016. "Hierarchical accountability in government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 85-99.
    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. Roxana Gutierrez-Romero & Monica Oviedo Leon, 2014. "The good, the bad and the ugly: The socio-economic impact of drug cartels and their violence in Mexico," Working Papers wpdea1407, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    13. 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.
    14. Sharkey, Patrick & Torrats-Espinosa, Gerard, 2017. "The effect of violent crime on economic mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 22-33.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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