The labor market effects of minority political empowerment: Evidence from the Voting Rights Act
This project looks at how the political enfranchisement of a group affects economic outcomes of those within that group. There are several mechanisms through which this could occur: Politicians might favor a newly enfranchised group in policymaking to earn their votes; the newly enfranchised group might find public-sector employment; or members of the group might run for and win a seat in office. Aneja and Avenancio will examine how African American enfranchisement through the Voting Rights Act affected a variety of economic outcomes for blacks in southern states. They will use a differences-in-differences approach, looking at bordering counties in states that were and were not subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Although this study focuses on Civil Rights-era outcomes, the results will be relevant today, as states pass laws that could depress voter turnout among minority groups.