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Political participation in a violent society: The impact of lynching on voter turnout in the post-Reconstruction South

Daniel Jones (), Werner Troesken and Randall Walsh ()

Journal of Development Economics, 2017, vol. 129, issue C, 29-46

Abstract: How does violence against a group affect political participation? In theory, the targeted group may either become politically mobilized or may become discouraged and withdraw from political participation. To address this question, we assess the impact of lynchings on differential rates of black turnout in the post-Reconstruction American South. We first provide evidence that lynchings are not politically motivated. We then show that, even though lynchings were not politically motivated, exposure to lynching reduced local black voter turnout by roughly 2.5 percentage points. A series of specification tests suggest this relationship can be interpreted as causal.

Keywords: Violence; Political participation; Lynching; American South (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2017.08.001

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:129:y:2017:i:c:p:29-46