Malaria, Race, and Inequality: Evidence from the Early 1900s US South

61 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2021 Last revised: 3 Jun 2021

See all articles by Emily Battaglia

Emily Battaglia

University of Delaware - Economics

Faizaan Kisat

Princeton University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 28, 2020

Abstract

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

Battaglia, Emily and Kisat, Faizaan Teizoon, Malaria, Race, and Inequality: Evidence from the Early 1900s US South (July 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3720895 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3720895

Emily Battaglia

University of Delaware - Economics ( email )

Newark, DE 19716
United States

Faizaan Teizoon Kisat (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

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