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The Political Economy of Race and the Adoption of Fair Employment Laws, 1940-1964

Author

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  • William J. Collins

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

This paper explores the political economy of anti-discrimination legislation during the ascendancy of the Civil Rights Movement. It traces the diffusion of state-level fair employment legislation and evaluates the relative importance of various demographic, political and economic factors in promoting such legislation. The empirics indicate that non-southern states with higher proportions of union members, Jews, Catholics, and NAACP members tended to adopt fair employment legislation earlier than other states. There is also some evidence that the likelihood of passage was higher in states with more competitive political systems and in states with neighbors which had already passed a law. Predicted times of fair employment policy adoption for the southern states underscore the importance of federal intervention.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Collins, 2001. "The Political Economy of Race and the Adoption of Fair Employment Laws, 1940-1964," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0104, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0104
    as

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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu01-w04.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Randall S. Kroszner & Philip E. Strahan, 1999. "What Drives Deregulation? Economics and Politics of the Relaxation of Bank Branching Restrictions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1437-1467.
    2. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    3. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1972. "Racial Discrimination and Trade Unionism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 435-464, May-June.
    4. William M. Landes, 1968. "The Economics of Fair Employment Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 507-507.
    5. Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-1643, December.
    6. Wright, Gavin, 1999. "The Civil Rights Revolution as Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 267-289, June.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    8. Gary M. Anderson & Dennis Halcoussis, 1996. "The Political Economy Of Legal Segregation: Jim Crow And Racial Employment Patterns," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 1-15, March.
    9. Roback, Jennifer, 1986. "The Political Economy of Segregation: The Case of Segregated Streetcars," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(04), pages 893-917, December.
    10. Collins, Wiiliam J., 1997. "When the Tide Turned: Immigration and the Delay of the Great Black Migration," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(03), pages 607-632, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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