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School Desegregation and Educational Attainment for Blacks

Sarah J. Reber

Journal of Human Resources, 2010, vol. 45, issue 4, pages 893-914

Abstract: This paper assesses the effects of school desegregation on its intended beneficiaries: black students. In Louisiana, substantial reductions in segregation between 1965 and 1970 were accompanied by large increases in per-pupil funding, which allowed funding in integrated schools to be "leveled up" to the level previously experienced only in white schools. Desegregation also brought increased exposure of blacks to whites. Analysis of new data on levels of segregation, resources and educational attainment from 1960–75 suggests that the increase in funding associated with desegregation improved educational attainment for blacks. A 42 percent increase in funding led to a 15 percent increase in high school graduation rates, and the estimated present value of the additional education exceeded the additional cost.

Date: 2010
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