A Review Essay on Howard Bodenhorn's The Color Factor: The Economics of African-American Well-Being in the Nineteenth-Century South
- Journal of Economic Literature (Forthcoming)
In The Color Factor: The Economics of African-American Well-Being in the Nineteenth-Century South, Howard Bodenhorn investigates the origins, health, and socioeconomic performance of mixed-race people in the antebellum southern United States. The central conclusion of the book is that mixed-race people fared better than darker-skinned blacks on nearly every dimension; however, they were still disadvantaged relative to whites. This review essay discusses the book’s valuable data contributions and relates Bodenhorn’s conclusions to the broader literature on colorism. I close with implications for future research on the economics of skin color.
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