Panel Paper: Desegregation and Downward Intergenerational Mobility: A Public-Value Approach to Analyzing the Effects of Social Constructions in the Segregated American South

Friday, November 7, 2014 : 10:35 AM
San Juan (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Sherman A. Cooper, Georgia State University
This article offers a public-value justification for the use of the social construction framework in the study of race-based intergenerational income disparities. A longitudinal empirical application is presented in the behavioral analysis of Southern and formerly Border states post-Brown vs. Board of Education. Focusing on pervasive persistence of school segregation in the region, I argue that this behavior is evidence of the continued perpetuation of deviant social constructions of African Americans at the state level despite the Brown ruling. Using data from the U.S. Panel Study on Income Dynamics, the Southern Educational Reporting Service, and the U.S. Department of Education, I apply probit analysis to assess the longitudinal effect of these persisting social constructions on the likelihood of downward absolute intergenerational income mobility for White and African-American males. I find that historical resistance to school desegregation in one’s childhood state of residence increases the likelihood of earning less than his father in low-spending states, but not in high-spending states. An additional finding suggests that government spending decreases the likelihood of earning less than one’s father in high-spending states but not in low-spending states.