The economic effects of disenfranchisement

Via Chris Blattman, here is a newish paper by Suresh Naidu, on how disenfranchisement translated into inferior economic outcomes for African-Americans:

This paper estimates the political and economic effects of the 19th century disenfranchisement of black citizens in the U.S. South. Using adjacent county-pairs that straddle state boundaries, I rst examine the effect of voting restrictions on political competition. I find that poll taxes and literacy tests each lowered overall electoral turnout by 10-23% and increased the Democratic vote share in national elections by 5%-10%. Second, employing newly collected data on schooling inputs, I show that disenfranchisement reduced the teacher-child and teacher-student ratio in black schools. Finally, I develop a model of suffrage restriction and redistribution in a 2-factor economy with occupational choice to generate sufficient statistics for welfare analysis of the incidence of black disenfranchisement. Consistent with the model, disenfranchised counties experienced a 7% increase in land and farm values per decade, despite a 4% fall in the black population share. The estimated factor market responses suggest that black labor bore a collective loss from disenfranchisement equivalent to at least 13% of annual income, much of which was transferred to landowners.

Here is Naidu's home page.  Where did he end up getting a job?


Comments for this post are closed