Do Black Politicians Matter?

Do black politicians matter


This paper exploits the history of Reconstruction after the
American Civil War to estimate the causal effect of politician
race on public finance. I overcome the endogeneity between
electoral preferences and black representation using the number
of free blacks in the antebellum era (1860) as an instrument for
black political leaders during Reconstruction. IV estimates show
that an additional black official increased per capita county tax
revenue by $0.20, more than an hour’s wage at the time. The
effect was not persistent, however, disappearing entirely at
Reconstruction’s end. Consistent with the stated policy
objectives of black officials, I find positive effects of black
politicians on land tenancy and show that exposure to black
politicians decreased the black-white literacy gap by more than
7%. These results suggest that politician race has large effects
on public finance and individual outcomes over and above
electoral preferences for redistribution.

by Trevon D. Logan – #24190 (DAE)

This entry was posted in Democracy, Economics and public policy, Race and indigenous. Bookmark the permalink.
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6 years ago

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