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Black Populations and Economic Growth: An Extreme Bounds Analysis of Mississippi County-Level Data

Young, Andrew and Higgins, Matthew and Levy, Daniel (2007): Black Populations and Economic Growth: An Extreme Bounds Analysis of Mississippi County-Level Data.

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Abstract

We use Mississippi county-level data on (per capita) income and the percentages of populations that are Black (henceforth "Black") to examine the relationship between race and economic growth. The analysis is also conditioned on 40 other economic and socio-demographic variables. Given a negative and statistically significant partial correlation between income growth and Black, we ask if it is robust to exhaustive combinations of other conditioning variables (taken 3 at a time). The evidence suggests yes. Since even robust correlation does not imply causation, we then ask if other robust correlates with income growth play a roll in accounting for Black in the data. The answer “yes” is obtained for only one other robust correlate of the "right" sign: the percentage of a population that is below the poverty level.

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