Slavery, Education, and Inequality

Graziella Bertocchi , Arcangelo Dimico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the effect of slavery on the current level of income inequality across US counties. We find that a larger proportion of slaves over population in 1860 persistently increases inequality, and in particular inequality across races. We also show that a crucial
channel of transmission from slavery to racial inequality is human capital accumulation, i.e., current inequality is primarily influenced by slavery through the unequal educational attainment of blacks and whites. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that the underlying links run through the political exclusion of former slaves and the resulting negative influence on the local provision of education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-209
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Early online date09 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


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