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A Poll Tax by any Other Name: The Political Economy of Disenfranchisement

Author

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  • Daniel B. Jones
  • Werner Troesken
  • Randall Walsh

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the political economy of voting rights in the American South. We begin by measuring the impact of both formal laws and informal modes of voter suppression on African-American political participation. In contrast to prior research, we find evidence that both formal and informal modes of voter suppression were important and mutually reinforcing. Part of our analysis includes explicitly identifying the magnitude and causal effects of lynching on black voter participation. We then turn to analyzing to the relatively unexplored question of how disenfranchisement-and the accompanying shifts in political power-affected policy outcomes, congressional voting, and partisan control of state and federal legislatures.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel B. Jones & Werner Troesken & Randall Walsh, 2012. "A Poll Tax by any Other Name: The Political Economy of Disenfranchisement," NBER Working Papers 18612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18612
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Alejandro Badel, 2010. "Understanding permanent black-white earnings inequality," Working Papers 2010-047, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove, 2011. "Education and Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1467-1496, June.
    4. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-895, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Sundstrom, William A., 1992. "Last Hired, First Fired? Unemployment and Urban Black Workers During the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(02), pages 415-429, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Kevin Lang & Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, 2012. "Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 959-1006, December.
    9. Craig, Lee A. & Fearn, Robert M., 1993. "Wage Discrimination and Occupational Crowding in a Competitive Industry: Evidence from the American Whaling Industry," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(01), pages 123-138, March.
    10. Rodgers, William M, III & Spriggs, William E, 1996. "The Effect of Federal Contractor Status on Racial Differences in Establishment-Level Employment Shares: 1979-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 290-293, May.
    11. Suresh Naidu, 2012. "Suffrage, Schooling, and Sorting in the Post-Bellum U.S. South," NBER Working Papers 18129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Maloney, Thomas N. & Whatley, Warren C., 1995. "Making the Effort: The Contours of Racial Discrimination in Detroit’s Labor Markets, 1920–1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(03), pages 465-493, September.
    13. Sundstrom, William A., 1994. "The Color Line: Racial Norms and Discrimination in Urban Labor Markets, 1910–1950," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(02), pages 382-396, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barry Eichengreen & Michael R. Haines & Matthew S. Jaremski & David Leblang, 2017. "Populists at the Polls: Economic Factors in the 1896 Presidential Election," NBER Working Papers 23932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:eee:deveco:v:129:y:2017:i:c:p:29-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Trevon D. Logan, 2018. "Do Black Politicians Matter?," NBER Working Papers 24190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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