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

  • Daniel B. Jones
  • Werner Troesken
  • Randall Walsh

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18612.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18612.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18612
Note: DAE PE POL
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  1. Alejandro Badel, 2010. "Understanding permanent black-white earnings inequality," Working Papers 2010-047, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Kevin Lang & Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, 2011. "Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 17450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Suresh Naidu, 2012. "Suffrage, Schooling, and Sorting in the Post-Bellum U.S. South," NBER Working Papers 18129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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, May.
  5. 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.
  6. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove, 2006. "Education and Labor-Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 12257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 290-93, May.
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