Malaria, Race, and Inequality: Evidence from the Early 1900s US South
61 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2021 Last revised: 3 Jun 2021
Date Written: July 28, 2020
This study investigates the impact of malaria eradication programs on black-white economic disparities in the early 1900s US South. Malaria eradication was widespread and improved health across races. Yet, only white men experienced economic benefits. Using matched census records, we find that increased exposure to the program is associated with higher schooling attainment and income for whites, but not for blacks. Blacks exposed to malaria eradication are more likely to be farm laborers, and both blacks and whites are more likely to migrate out of state. Our findings suggest that malaria eradication, a broadly-applied intervention, widened racial gaps.
JEL Classification: I18, J15, N32, O15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation