In this paper we study the long-term labor market implications of school resource equalization before Brown and school desegregation after Brown. For cohorts born in the South in the 1920s and 1930s, we find that racial disparities in measurable school characteristics had a substantial influence on black males’ earnings and educational attainment measured in 1970, albeit one that was smaller in the later cohorts. When we examine the income of male workers in 1990, we find that southern-born blacks who finished their schooling just before effective desegregation occurred in the South fared poorly compared to southern-born blacks who followed behind them in school by just a few years.


Law and Economics

Date of this Version

November 2004