Freedom Laws & the Economics of Ethnicity
132 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2012 Last revised: 24 Feb 2012
Date Written: January 23, 2012
The debate over market/individual regulation and freedom is not a new discussion. However, a clear understanding of the freedoms (or the lack of freedoms) and their economic consequences on early black Americans provides an informative understanding to the freedoms (or the lack of freedoms), and their economic consequences on other, modern ethnic groups. Leon Litwick (1961) and Ira Berlin (1974) provide the most comprehensive historical accounts of free blacks in the north and south, respectively. This study attempts to build upon their successes by presenting one of the first national studies that combines the legal, demographic and economic experiences of free blacks, with an extended analysis of antebellum wealth inequality. In doing so, I investigate the link between the social asymmetry and economic asymmetry among early blacks and whites in the United States of America. For the empirical study, I used cross-sectional variables from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Sample (IPUMS), I developed informative conditional ratios, and I employ least squares statistical analyses. This study finds that economic differences among ethnic groups, as measured by differences between early blacks and whites, are intertwined with asymmetrical freedoms.
Keywords: constitution, government, economics of ethnicity, economic inequality, economic discrimination
JEL Classification: H5, H7, C44, N4, N3, J7, B15, D31, D91, E21, H54, H73, I2, I3, J15, J18, J31, J71, K00, N11, N31, N4
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