The Political Economy of Race, 1940-1964: The Adoption of State-Level Fair Employment Legislation
NBER Historical Working Paper No. 128
This paper traces the diffusion of fair employment legislation at the state level and evaluates the relative importance of various demographic, political, and economic factors in the promotion (or at least the acceptance) of the principle of government-enforced anti-discrimination policy. The empirics indicate that non-southern states with higher proportions of union members, Jews, and Catholics tended to adopt fair employment legislation sooner than other states. There is weaker evidence that after controlling for other characteristics, the likelihood of passage was lower in states dominated by the Republican Party and that there were spillover or contagion effects across states. The proportion of the population that was black does not appear to have shortened the time to adoption.
Published: Collins, William J. "Race, Roosevelt, And Wartime Production: Fair Employment In World War II Labor Markets," American Economic Review, 2001, v91(1,Mar), 272-286.