Whitelashing: Black Politicians, Taxes, and Violence

33 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2019 Last revised: 22 May 2023

See all articles by Trevon Logan

Trevon Logan

Ohio State University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2019


This paper provides the first evidence of the effect of tax policy on the likelihood of violent attacks against black politicians. I find a strong positive effect of local tax revenue on subsequent violence against black politicians. A dollar increase in per capita county taxes increases the likelihood of a violent attack by more than 25%. The result is robust to numerous economic, social, historical, and political factors. I also find that counties where black officeholders were attacked had the largest negative tax revenue changes between 1870 and 1880 and that violence against black politicians is unrelated to other forms of post-Reconstruction racial violence. This provides the first quantitative evidence that political violence at Reconstruction's end was related to black political efficacy.

Suggested Citation

Logan, Trevon, Whitelashing: Black Politicians, Taxes, and Violence (June 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3412688

Trevon Logan (Contact Author)

Ohio State University ( email )

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Columbus, OH OH 43210
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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