The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Jim Crow South

  • Gavin Wright
Reference work entry


The US South maintained a distinctive economic and political structure from the demise of slavery in the 1860s to the Civil Rights revolution of the 1960s. Racial wage differentials in the unskilled labour market were small. But blacks were virtually absent from higher-paying skilled jobs. Disfranchisement led to a drastic fall in relative expenditures on black schooling between 1890 and 1910. The effort to protect cheap labour reinforced regional isolation, depriving the South of dynamic stimulus from new migrants, enterprise and ideas. Conflicts between recruitment of capital and demands for racial justice were resolved only by federal intervention.


Agriculture Arrow, K. Becker, G. Black-white wage differentials Civil rights movement Convict labour Economic development Human capital Internal migration Jim Crow South Key, V. Minimum wage Racial discrimination Regional development Schooling Segregation in labour markets Slavery Trade unions 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gavin Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.