DP8589 Race v. Suffrage: The Determinants of Development in Mississippi

Author(s): Graziella Bertocchi, Arcangelo Dimico
Publication Date: October 2011
Keyword(s): development, education, inequality, institutions, race
JEL(s): E25, H52, J15, N31, O11, P16
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8589

We investigate the long term determinants of political and economic outcomes over a new data set composed of Mississippi counties. We analyze the effect of disfranchisement on voting registration at the end of the nineteenth century (1896-9), as well as the impact of voting registration on education outcomes at different points in time, namely in 1917 and in the 1950s. Finally, we turn to the determinants of a broad array of development indicators for the year 1960 and for the 1960-2000 period. Our main conclusion is that race, rather than political institutions and education policies, is the main force driving the above outcomes.