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The Impact of Government on the Economic Status of Black Americans

  • James J. Heckman

This paper reviews recent evidence on black economic progress. It notes that while relative status increased over the period 1965-1981, absolute differentials in real earnings between blacks and whites widened over this period. The paper goes out to summarize recent studies of the impact of government on the economic status of black Americans. Educational policy has a strong effect. The evidence on affirmative action programs is mixed. There is an intrinsic bias in the methods used toward finding no effect of affirmative action programs. Selection bias effects do not account for more than 10-12% of measured wage growth of black males.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2860.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2860.

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Date of creation: Feb 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "Determining the Impact of Federal Antidiscrimination Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks: A Study of South Carolina" The American Economic Review, Vol. 79, No. 1, Mar., 1989
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2860
Note: LS
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  1. Lillard, Lee & Smith, James P & Welch, Finis, 1986. "What Do We Really Know about Wages? The Importance of Nonreporting and Census Imputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 489-506, June.
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