NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

From Brown to Busing

Elizabeth Cascio, Nora Gordon, Ethan Lewis, Sarah Reber

NBER Working Paper No. 13279
Issued in July 2007
NBER Program(s):   CH   DAE   ED   PE

An extensive literature debates the causes and consequences of the desegregation of American schools in the twentieth century. Despite the social importance of desegregation and the magnitude of the literature, we have lacked a comprehensive accounting of the basic facts of school desegregation. This paper uses newly assembled data to document when and how Southern school districts desegregated as well as the extent of court involvement in the desegregation process over the two full decades after Brown. We also examine heterogeneity in the path to desegregation by district characteristics. The results suggest that the existing quantitative literature, which generally either begins in 1968 and focuses on the role of federal courts in larger urban districts or relies on highly aggregated data, often tells an incomplete story of desegregation.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13279

Published: Cascio, Elizabeth & Gordon, Nora & Lewis, Ethan & Reber, Sarah, 2008. "From Brown to busing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 296-325, September. citation courtesy of

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