Evaluating the Role of Brown V. Board of Education in School Equalization, Desegregation, and the Income of African Americans
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
Date Written: 2006
The public profile of the Brown v. Board of Education decision tends to overshadow the well-established fact that racial disparities in school resources in the South began narrowing 20 years before the Brown decision and that school desegregation did not begin on a large scale in the Deep South until ten years after the Brown decision. We instead view Brown as a highly visible marker of public policy's mid-century reversal on matters of race. When we examine the labor market outcomes of male workers in 1990, we find that southern-born blacks who would have finished their schooling just before effective desegregation occurred in the South fared poorly compared to southern-born blacks who followed behind them in school by just a few years, relative to northern-born blacks in same age cohorts.
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