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Municipal Housekeeping: The Impact of Women's Suffrage on Public Education

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  • Celeste K. Carruthers
  • Marianne H. Wanamaker

Abstract

Gains in 20th century real wages and reductions in the black-white wage gap have been linked to the mid-century ascent of school quality. With a new dataset uniquely appropriate to identifying the impact of female voter enfranchisement on education spending, we attribute up to one-third of the 1920-1940 rise in public school expenditures to the Nineteenth Amendment. Yet the continued disenfranchisement of black southerners meant white school gains far outpaced those for blacks. As a result, women’s suffrage exacerbated racial inequality in education expenditures and substantially delayed relative gains in black human capital observed later in the century.

Suggested Citation

  • Celeste K. Carruthers & Marianne H. Wanamaker, 2015. "Municipal Housekeeping: The Impact of Women's Suffrage on Public Education," NBER Working Papers 20864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20864
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    Cited by:

    1. Bütikofer, Aline & Mølland, Eirin & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2016. "Childhood Nutrition and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a School Breakfast Program," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 15/2016, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/690944 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Patricia Funk & Stephan Litschig, 2017. "Policy Choices in Assembly versus Representative Democracy : Evidence from Swiss Communes," GRIPS Discussion Papers 17-07, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    4. Kose, Esra & Kuka, Elira & Shenhav, Na'ama, 2016. "Women's Enfranchisement and Children's Education: The Long-Run Impact of the U.S. Suffrage Movement," IZA Discussion Papers 10148, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Rainald Borck, 2018. "Political Participation and the Welfare State," CESifo Working Paper Series 7128, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Celeste K. Carruthers & Marianne H. Wanamaker, 2017. "Separate and Unequal in the Labor Market: Human Capital and the Jim Crow Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 655-696.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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