The Economic Impact of the Social Legislation of the 1960s on Blacks in the Labor Market.

by Duran Bell

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Why did the earnings ratios of the 1960s rise for black women and southern black men and not for northern black men? The author examines the effects of educational attainment, region of residence, occupation, and special government programs on changes in real incomes of black and white males and females. Within regions, black males experienced a 62 percent increase in income, compared with 43 percent for white males, and a 12 percent increase due to migration from South to North. While black women have gained 11 percent from changes in education levels, black men have gained only 4 percent. For black women, data on occupational changes show a long-term upward trend in earnings ratios, with a strong acceleration between 1965 and 1969. For black men in the North, there is no evidence of a sustained upward trend, but in the South a strong 1 percent per year occurred after 1965. Governmental programs have had little notable effect on black/white earnings ratios. 17 pp.

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