55 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2007 Last revised: 5 Oct 2007
Date Written: July 2007
An extensive literature debates the causes and consequences of the desegregation of American schools in the twentieth century. Despite the social importance of desegregation and the magnitude of the literature, we have lacked a comprehensive accounting of the basic facts of school desegregation. This paper uses newly assembled data to document when and how Southern school districts desegregated as well as the extent of court involvement in the desegregation process over the two full decades after Brown. We also examine heterogeneity in the path to desegregation by district characteristics. The results suggest that the existing quantitative literature, which generally either begins in 1968 and focuses on the role of federal courts in larger urban districts or relies on highly aggregated data, often tells an incomplete story of desegregation.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Cascio, Elizabeth and Gordon, Nora and Lewis, Ethan G. and Reber, Sarah, From Brown to Busing (July 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13279. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1002058
By Leah Boustan
By Sarah Reber