World War II and African American Socioeconomic Progress

Here is a job market paper from Andreas Ferrara, University of Warwick:

This paper argues that the unprecedented socioeconomic rise of African Americans at mid-century is causally related to the labor shortages induced by WWII. Results from combining novel military and Census data in a difference-in-differences setting show that counties with an average casualty rate among semi-skilled whites experienced a 13 to 16% increase in the share of blacks in semi-skilled jobs. The casualty rate also has a significant reduced form effect on cross-state migration, wages, home ownership, house value, and education for blacks. Using survey data from 1961, IV regression results indicate that the economic upgrade, which is instrumented with the semi-skilled white casualty rate, is also associated with an increase in social status. Both black and white individuals living in treated counties are more likely to have an interracial friendship, live in mixed-race neighborhoods, and to have reduced preferences for segregation.

Via John Holbein.


Somewhat difficult conditions for a policy-maker to re-create.

You don't need a war to have a "shortage" in labor.

Eliminate immigration, both legal and illegal, and make some structural reform so that previously incarcerated blacks can compete for semi-skilled jobs (such as the 'Ban the Box movement). There you go.

As MR has reported before, "Ban the Box" actually INCREASES racial discrimination.

Mọi người thường gọi anh là Thạch sáng tạo”.

What does the means matter if the end is a more diverse workplace? I see no problem here.

Hi, my name is Elliot Taylor. I live in Wichita, the most important city in the Wichita metropolitan area. Like many Americans, I am outraged by Red China's behavior. They chear, slap unfair tariffs on American goods, team up with Russian in provocative military exercises, back the mad Kims and are trying to control South America.

It has been proved that Red China is supporting the leftist candidate, Mr. Haddad (the political godson of jailed former president Lula), against pro-American, redormist presidential candidate Representative Captain Bolsonaro in Brazil.

If the Manchurian Candidate wins, hell will break loose as Red China gets a military base bigger thanthe Roman Empire at its height. It will be to the Cuban Missile Crisis as the Sun is to former planet Pluto.

I wonder why President Trump visits the mad Kims anlots of Arab dicators, but can't visit Representative Captain Bolsonaro, who was victim of a (Chimese-ordered??) terrorist attack. If each of us send an email to five people warning them about Red China's plan and they send an email for five people and so on, we can change things and convinve our government to stop China's anti-America plan in Brazil.

Thank for your time,
God bless you all.

Come on, man! Literally laughing out loud here. The internet is still a weird place.

Maybe the Red Chinese threat to America and its allies should not be treated as a laughing matter.

Yes Elliot, thank you! Finally another American is awake to the danger.

Has Thiago Ribeiro been talking about this blog to his "Brazilian" friends? I say the more the merrier.

I really don't know what you are talking about. I am not Brazilian or "Brazilian". I work in manufacturing in Wichita, Kansas.

I am having the same problem. I am an American living in Tennessee in the southeastern part of our country, and people here think I am someone named Thiago from Brazil.

You are not the real Mark Wilson. You are impersonating me.

No, I am impersonating you.

Yet another argument for not importing cheap labor via mass immigration.

I think I read something here about how great an idea it is to replace workers with AI. If profits are what that matter, who cares if they are made by firing Americans and replacing them with robots or Africans?

But the robots need to be high wage robots with lavish lifestyles.

Otherwise, businesses will have few customers with money to spend.

I don't know about this but I am suddenly a little worried about Red China and Brazil for some reason.

Despite the mainstream media's omissions, you may have become that Red China is interfering in Brazil's presidential elections and intends to use that sympathetic country as stepping stone to attack America, the way it uses North Korea. It already spend millions of dollars to support leftist candidte Haddad and may be behind the terrorist attack against leading centrist candidate Representative Captain Bolsonaro.

If I mention Steve Sailer's name three times will he comment on this post? Steve Sailer, Steve Sailer. I assume that this finding reinforces his idea of "citizenism", which if I remember correctly Janet Yellen seemed to propound a variation (talking about how maybe the Fed should place more weight on reducing unemployment, especially among blacks, as opposed to fighting inflation, which is what the cosmopolitans seems to prefer, and does the elite of the US really count as Americans, when they so loudly proclaim themselves as citizens of the world?).

So we are also stopping praising jobs-destroying business models or is it juat about banning dark-skinned people from entering America?

I genuinely don't understand the first part of this comment- something about the grammar seems off. I would say that Steve Sailer is a racist, but so what? The whole idea of citizenism is to put US citizens first when it comes time to set public policy. So it doesn't matter if the low-skilled workers come from Mexico or from Poland. The problem is that that they compete for jobs with people already in the country, and drive down their wages. And given that we are talking about people at the bottom of the wage scale, that means genuine economic hardship (as opposed to say more doctors or software engineers immigrating to the US).

If we are soooo concerned about America's workers, maybe we should not get wet dreaming about how we will replace them with machines who do not join unions, do not eat, do not have children, do not take sick days, etc.

A different way of increasing the welfare of the poor is to make consumer good cheaper, not to make labor more expensive.

I see. The poorer they get (no job, no prospects), the richer they will be.

Ideally we can replace all the machines with people. Why use a Caterpillar earth mover when 20 guys with shovels can get it done, and in a much longer time? Jobs for everyone, for longer!

So that is it: to the gas chambers with the workers!! I am sick and tired of seeing the coastal elites taking advantage of our system.

Such is life in Trump's America.

Category error: This comment is by Mark Wilson.

Why do I need an earth mover when I can hire a gang of coolies, pick-axe ready, at the San Francisco port?

I have heard tell of these new cotton harvesting machines but I seriously doubt they are an improvement over the negro hand which, with its lower digit ratio, is ideally suited to picking the cotton boll.

I have also observed the salutary effect of cooler Northern climes on the normally languid Meso-American. They are invaluable kitchen help, as they scurry about to keep warm, and are cheaper and more docile than the field negroes.

I don't know, I always thought it was obvious that the WWII labor shortage was beneficial to black Americans and helped build the black middle class (and thereby lay the groundwork for the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s), in the same way that the shortage of men led to women working in industrial positions during the war. In much the same way, the end-of-war and post-war housing shortages were probably beneficial to black Americans, because it exacerbated the already critical problem of race-restrictive covenants and racial discrimination in housing to the point that the Supreme Court declared race-restrictive covenants (agreements between sellers of real property not to later convey the property to black people) unconstitutional in 1948's Shelley v. Kraemer.

Comme d'habitude the worry is about outcomes for the American black population, represented by nameless blue collar workers rather than Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington and Lebron James. Perpetually forgotten are the nearly invisible native Americans that don't produce television shows, star in movies or play a role in the national sports fixation. Most white, or black, Americans couldn't name a living native American.

Should actually date it to the labor shortage during WW I, which also led to restrictions on immigration, which led to the start of the Great Black Migration out of the South, then the WW II effects ....

From 1942-1945 over 1M blacks moved from Houston -> Southern California to work in the airplane & munitions factories, contributing to the Central Avenue music scene.

Fun fact: the Jazz Crusaders were from Houston.

Kind of amazing. The population of Houston was 384,000 in 1940
The black population in America 1940 about 12,865,000 so about 7% of the black population moved from Houston to SoCal

in 1950 about 40% of California residents lived in Los Angeles County

From 1940 to 50 Los Angles County grew from 2,785,643 to 4,151,687 so almost all that growth was black? Few blacks live outside Los Angeles County (as a percentage)

In 1950, 102,798 black residents of California listed Texas as their birthplace Louisiana was listed by 86,319 Born in Cal was 93,421


That doesn't like to the claim about 1 Millon blacks moving from Houston to SoCal. Just to the book where the claim was made, I assume.

Hope the rest of the book doesn't make such outrageous claims.

Government caused the segregation of the '60's and '70's with their stupid housing programs. Welfare programs destroyed black families. Government screws up everything.

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