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Confederate Streets and Black-White Labor Market Differentials
Using a unique dataset, this paper examines the extent to which streets named after prominent Confederate generals reflect an area’s racial animus toward blacks and are related to black-white labor market differentials. The analysis shows that Confederate streets are positively associated with a proxy for historical racial animus. Specifically, I show that areas that experienced more historical lynchings have more streets named after prominent Confederate generals today. Examining individual-level data show that blacks who reside in areas that have a relatively higher number of Confederate streets are less likely to be employed, more likely to be employed in low-status occupations, and have lower wages compared to whites. This relationship holds after accounting for levels of educational attainment and race-specific quality of education. I find no evidence that geographic sorting explains these results. Investigating whether these results extend to other groups show that Confederate streets are associated with employment, occupational status, and wage differentials between other minorities and whites.

Nov 16, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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