Education, Race/Ethnicity and Inequality

Paper Session

Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Hyatt Regency Chicago, Wright
Hosted By: National Economic Association
  • Chair: Jamein P. Cunningham, Portland State University

Is There a Racialized Legacy in Wealth Across Generations? Evidence from Panel Study, 1984-2013

William A. Darity, Jr.
,
Duke University
Darrick Hamilton
,
New School
Jermaine Toney
,
New School

Abstract

The wealth accumulation of parents appears to be strongly determinative of the
wealth holdings of their adult children. However, very little is known about the association of wealth that may occur across three generations of a family. This paper includes
a focus on the grandparent generation in order to provide a more complete picture on
economic transfers in the extended family. We use 1984 to 2013 data from the Panel
Study of Income Dynamics. We find that the children of white parents and grandparents may have higher wealth positions, but there is little intergenerational mobility in
net wealth. And, while the children of black parents and grandparents have wealth
positions that lag far behind that of white families, black children still also face very
little intergenerational mobility in net wealth.

The Long-Run Impacts of Mexican-American School Desegregation in the United States

Francisca M. Antman
,
University of Colorado
Kalena E. Cortes
,
Texas A&M University

Abstract

While historical accounts point to widespread segregation of Mexican-Americans throughout the southwestern United States in the early to mid-20th century, the economics literature has paid relatively little attention to the elimination of de jure segregation for this population. In this paper, we provide the first quantitative analysis of the impact of allowing Mexican-Americans to access white schools by examining the impact of the 1947 Mendez v. Westminster decision on educational outcomes of Hispanics in California. Our results suggest that the impact of school desegregation led to a significant increase in the quantity and quality of schooling for the cohort exposed to the treatment, relative to the cohorts starting school prior to Mendez.

Educational Inequality and Economic Mobility Across Generations

Rodney Andrews
,
University of Texas-Dallas
Marcus Casey
,
University of Illinois-Chicago
Bradley Hardy
,
American University
Trevon Logan
,
Ohio State University

Abstract

The role of human capital investments in black-white earnings differentials has been well investigated. Recently, scholars have produced a number of studies which analyze the geographic determinants of intergenerational mobility. To date, the relationship between interracial differences in human capital investments and intergenerational inequality is unknown. We use data on individuals and families linked across generations with detailed, race-specific school inputs at the county level in Georgia, to further investigate the sources of intergenerational transmission of economic status that are driven by geography and geographic variation in human capital investment by race. Following recent work on mobility (e.g. Chetty et al. 2014; Rothbaum 2015), we examine the role of previously omitted historical variation in access to human capital on intergenerational mobility. Specifically, we analyze the role of factors (e.g., teacher/pupil ratios, per capita educational expenditures, teacher salaries, etc.) that are plausibly related to geographically-driven intergenerational economic mobility and whose omission could bias the current estimates of mobility. Our empirical framework is a set of intergenerational income mobility models that include controls for racial differences in the quality of educational inputs and racial segregation patterns at the county level in the late 19th and early-to-middle 20th century. We measure mobility using parent-child rank-rank income earnings and income models as well as intergenerational income elasticity models. The policy implications from this body of research will help to better identify the role of racial variation in human capital investments, racial segregation, and school inputs to hone in on the structural sources of the intergenerational transmission of economic status.

Education and Occupational Structures among Island-Born and Mainland-Born Puerto Ricans and Non-Hispanic Whites on the U.S. Mainland: 2006-2014

Alberto Davila
,
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley
Marie T. Mora
,
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley
Havidan Rodriguez
,
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley

Abstract

Starting in 2006, Puerto Rico’s now decade-long economic crisis has led to record levels of outmigration from the island to the U.S. mainland, particularly among younger workers. The deteriorating economic conditions on the island have occurred during a time of exceedingly high rates of impoverishment and unemployment, which were exacerbated by, among other events, the expiration of corporate income tax breaks that led to a significant loss in the number of manufacturing jobs as well as a series of fiscal austerity measures that included a significant reduction in public sector jobs. While the outmigration might alleviate some of the job shortages on the island, it remains unclear whether the employment opportunities that remain on the island adequately match the skills of workers who stay behind. It also remains unclear whether the labor market structures within the “receiving” communities on the U.S. mainland, many of which represent non-traditional settlement areas among Puerto Ricans, have been able to absorb the incoming migrants, especially during the time of the Great Recession. To explore changes in the education and occupational structures among Puerto Ricans, we will utilize data from the 2006-2014 American Community Surveys and Puerto Rican Community Surveys. Part of our analysis will focus on whether the likelihood of being “overeducated” or “undereducated” shifted differently over time between Puerto Ricans on the island versus the mainland.1 We will further compare these changes with those of Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites on the mainland, to determine whether stateside Puerto Ricans fared differently than other workers during this time. We will conclude with a set of policy recommendations.
Discussant(s)
Omari H. Swinton
,
Howard University
Monica Deza
,
University of Texas-Dallas
Art Goldsmith
,
Washington and Lee University
Mark Lopez
,
Pew Research Center
JEL Classifications
  • I0 - General
  • J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers