Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1585283
 
 

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Do Black Mayors Improve Black Employment Outcomes? Evidence from Large U.S. Cities


John V. Nye


George Mason University - Department of Economics; National Research University Higher School of Economics

Ilia Rainer


George Mason University

Thomas Stratmann


George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

April 6, 2010


Abstract:     
To what extent do politicians reward voters who are members of their own ethnic or racial group? Using data from large cities in the United States, we study how black employment outcomes are affected by changes in the race of the cities’ mayors between 1971 and 2003. We find that black employment and labor force participation rise, and the black unemployment rate falls, during the tenure of black mayors both in absolute terms and relative to whites. Black employment gains in municipal government jobs are particularly large, which suggests that our results capture the causal effects of black mayors. We also find that the effect of black mayors on black employment outcomes is stronger in cities that have a large black community. This suggests that electoral incentives may be an important determinant of racial favoritism. Finally, we also find that, corresponding to increases in employment, black income is higher after black mayors take office. Again, this effect is pronounced in cities with a large black population.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

Keywords: Race, Ethnicity, Discrimination, Employment, Urban Politics

JEL Classification: D7, R28, J15, J78

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Date posted: April 6, 2010 ; Last revised: November 5, 2013

Suggested Citation

Nye, John V. and Rainer, Ilia and Stratmann, Thomas, Do Black Mayors Improve Black Employment Outcomes? Evidence from Large U.S. Cities (April 6, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1585283 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1585283

Contact Information

John V. C. Nye
George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-4272 (Phone)
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Ilia Rainer
George Mason University ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
United States
Thomas Stratmann (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2330 (Phone)
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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