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

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  • William J. Collins

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Collins, 2001. "The Labor Market Impact of State-Level Anti-Discrimination Laws, 1940-1960," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0108, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1972. "Racial Discrimination and Trade Unionism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 435-464, May-June.
    2. William M. Landes, 1968. "The Economics of Fair Employment Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 507-507.
    3. Maloney, Thomas N., 1994. "Wage Compression and Wage Inequality Between Black and White Males in the United States, 1940–1960," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(02), pages 358-381, June.
    4. Kenneth Arrow, 1971. "The Theory of Discrimination," Working Papers 403, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Lundberg, Shelly J & Startz, Richard, 1983. "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 340-347, June.
    6. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-161, April.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Malcolm H. Liggett, 1969. "The Efficacy of State Fair Employment Practices Commissions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 22(4), pages 559-567, July.
    10. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
    11. 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, pages 1603-1643.
    12. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-641, June.
    13. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages 672-694, November.
    14. 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.
    15. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter & Weinberg,Bruce, 2005. "People People: Social Capital and the Labor-Market Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups," ROA Research Memorandum 002, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).

    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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