De Jure and De Facto Determinants of Power: Evidence from Mississippi

34 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2012

See all articles by Graziella Bertocchi

Graziella Bertocchi

Università di Modena; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Arcangelo Dimico

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School; Queen's University Belfast

Abstract

We evaluate the empirical relevance of de facto vs. de jure determinants of political power in the U.S. South between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. We apply a variety of estimation techniques to a previously unexploited dataset on voter registration by race covering the counties of Mississippi in 1896, shortly after the introduction of the 1890 voting restrictions encoded in the state constitution. Our results indicate that de jure voting restrictions reduce black registration but that black disfranchisement starts well before 1890 and is more intense where a black majority represents a threat to the de facto power of white elites. Moreover, the effect of race becomes stronger after 1890 suggesting that the de jure barriers may have served the purpose of institutionalizing a de facto condition of disfranchisement.

Keywords: race, voting, institutions, education, inequality

JEL Classification: J15, N41, O43, P16

Suggested Citation

Bertocchi, Graziella and Dimico, Arcangelo, De Jure and De Facto Determinants of Power: Evidence from Mississippi. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6741, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2119048

Graziella Bertocchi (Contact Author)

Università di Modena; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Rome, 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Arcangelo Dimico

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School ( email )

Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5EE
United Kingdom

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

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