Haas School of Business
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2018||Racial Divisions and Criminal Justice: Evidence from Southern State Courts|
with Benjamin Feigenberg: w24726
The US criminal justice system is exceptionally punitive. We test whether racial heterogeneity is one cause, exploiting cross-jurisdiction variation in criminal justice practices in four Southern states. We estimate the causal effect of jurisdiction on initial charge outcome, validating our estimates using a quasi-experimental research design based on defendants that are charged in multiple jurisdictions. Consistent with a simple model of ingroup bias in electorate preferences, the relationship between local punitiveness and the black share of defendants follows an inverted U-shape. Heterogeneous jurisdictions are more punitive for both black and white defendants. By contrast, punishment norms are unrelated to local crime rates. Simulation results suggest that adopting the punishment norms...
|When Work Moves: Job Suburbanization and Black Employment|
This paper presents evidence that job suburbanization caused significant declines in black employment from 1970 to 2000. I document that, conditional on detailed job characteristics, blacks are less likely than whites to work in suburban establishments, and this spatial segregation is stable over time despite widespread decentralization of population and jobs. This stable segregation suggests job suburbanization may have increased black-white labor market inequality. Exploiting variation across metropolitan areas, I find that job suburbanization is associated with substantial declines in black employment rates relative to white employment rates. Evidence from nationally planned highway infrastructure corroborates a causal interpretation.
|December 2008||Institutions vs. Policies: A Tale of Two Islands|
with Peter Blair Henry: w14604
Recent work emphasizes the primacy of differences in countries' colonially-bequeathed property rights and legal systems for explaining differences in their subsequent economic development. Barbados and Jamaica provide a striking counter example to this long-run view of income determination. Both countries inherited property rights and legal institutions from their English colonial masters yet experienced starkly different growth trajectories in the aftermath of independence. From 1960 to 2002, Barbados' GDP per capita grew roughly three times as fast as Jamaica's. Consequently, the income gap between Barbados and Jamaica is now almost five times larger than at the time of independence. Since their property rights and legal systems are virtually identical, recent theories of developmen...
Published: Peter Blair Henry & Conrad Miller, 2009. "Institutions versus Policies: A Tale of Two Islands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 261-67, May.