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The Labor Market Impact of State-Level Anti-Discrimination Laws, 1940-1960

  • William J. Collins


    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

By the time Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 98 percent of non-southern blacks (40 percent of all blacks) were already covered by state-level "fair employment" laws which prohibited labor market discrimination. This paper assesses the impact of fair employment legislation on black workers' income, unemployment, labor force participation, and occupational and industrial distributions relative to whites using a difference-in-difference-in-difference framework. In general, the fair employment laws adopted in the 1940s appear to have had larger effects than those adopted in the 1950s, and the laws had relatively small effects on the labor market outcomes of black men compared to those of black women.

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Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0108.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0108
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  1. Richard Startz & Lundberg, . "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 19-81, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Malcolm H. Liggett, 1969. "The efficacy of state fair employment practices commissions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 22(4), pages 559-567, July.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter, 1971. "Racial Discrimination and Trade Unionism," Working Papers 390, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
  5. William M. Landes, 1968. "The Economics of Fair Employment Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 507.
  6. Glenn C. Loury, 1998. "Discrimination in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Beyond Market Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 117-126, Spring.
  7. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
  8. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  9. William J. Collins, 2001. "Race, Roosevelt, and Wartime Production: Fair Employment in World War II Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 272-286, March.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F672-94, November.
  11. Moehling, Carolyn M., 1999. "State Child Labor Laws and the Decline of Child Labor," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-106, January.
  12. 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 1603-43, December.
  13. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
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